“We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle.”
Kenseth is currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with a win, nine top-five and 14 top-ten finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his career he has won a total of 22 Cup races while earning 122 top-five and 223 top-ten finishes.
“I’m excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be,” said Kenseth. “I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation into another starting in 2013.”
A Wisconsin native, Kenseth started his racing career at the age of 16 and was an instant success winning his first feature race in just his third outing. By the age of 19 he was winning races across the state of Wisconsin and in 1994 he would become the youngest driver to win the Slinger Nationals, one of the most prestigious short track races in the country. From there he would successfully move through the ranks of the NASCAR All-Pro Series (1995), USAR Pro Cup Series (1996) and American Speed Association (1997).
He would make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 1997 and run his first full season in the Series in 1998. He has 248 career Nationwide Series starts with 26 wins, 118 top-five, and 168 top-ten finishes. 1998 would also mark his Cup Series debut, but Kenseth would not run his first full season until 2000 when he would also win his first race on the premier level of the sport and go on to earn Rookie of the Year honors.
Kenseth would win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2003 with an impressive season that included one win, 11 top-five and a career-high 25 top-ten finishes. He took the points lead following the fourth week of the season and held it over the next 33 weeks en route to the Championship. He won The Daytona 500 in 2009 and repeated the feat again this past February.
Matt and his wife Katie live in the Charlotte area with their two daughters. His son Ross currently attends Clemson University and is racing competitively as well.
- Joe Gibbs Racing, Press Release