Kenseth won’t discuss his future with Roush

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Associated Press
Monday, June 25, 2012
— Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday’s race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he’s been talking to other race teams.

The NASCAR points leader and Cambridge native acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his No. 17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season.

“You know I don’t talk about my contract,” Kenseth said. “I’d like to have something to tell you, but I don’t have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don’t talk about it.”

Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth’s name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver.

JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano’s status as driver of the No. 20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract.

“I’m not allowed to talk,” Gibbs said.

Roger Penske was not at Sunday’s race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker, said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the No. 22.

“Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year,” Denker said. “So we are not talking to Matt, that’s confirmed.”

The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.

Roush this season has suspended operations on its fourth Cup car, which could have been a slot to promote Stenhouse, and Bayne’s Nationwide Series program was shuttered earlier this season because of a lack of funding.

If Kenseth does leave Roush, it would open a slot for Stenhouse.

But at Penske, where Brad Keselowski has a long contract and Allmendinger is making a home, a third car would have to be added to the organization.

“We’re always looking, and we’d do a third team with the right driver and the right sponsor,” Denker said. “But we like a certain look, we don’t like to have a coat of different colors to fill a car with sponsorship. If we found the right combination, we’d be fine to have a third car.”

Last updated: 8:43 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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