NASCAR Cup Series Nigel Kinrade Photography

A Look Back Through Matt Kenseth’s Career

Since making his debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 1998, Matt Kenseth has been full throttle ever since, including a series championship in 2003. From making us laugh to intense battles on track, Kenseth has certainly made a lot of memories through the years.

With no plans set for the 2018 season, Kenseth announced a couple weeks ago that the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be his final career event. 

Here’s a glance back through his career over the past 19 years.

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

Kenseth made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in 1998 at Dover International Speedway with an impressive sixth-place finish. 

Getty Images for NASCAR

In the midst of his rookie campaign in 2000, Kenseth led 32 laps en route to scoring his first career victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

Kenseth scored his first career pole award in 2002 at Dover International Speedway. 

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

Despite only winning a single race in 2003, Kenseth won the championship on the heels of 25 top-10’s. He is largely disputed as the driver who brought forth the chase and playoff formats so champions would no longer be crowned weeks before the finale.

Tyler Barrick | NKP

Leading just nine laps, Kenseth scored his first of two Daytona 500 victories in 2009 in a rain shortened affair.

Michael L. Levitt | NKP

Kenseth is one of a few drivers that can say they won the Great American Race twice, as he was victorious in 2012.

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

After driving for Jack Roush for 12 straight full seasons in the Cup Series, Kenseth left the organization at season’s end to join Joe Gibbs Racing for 2013.

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

Kenseth may have only won a single championship over the years, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t close to repeating the feat. He scored a pair of runner-ups in the standings since then, including 2013 after winning seven races that season.  

Matthew Thacker | NKP

Although known for being respectful on-track, Kenseth had a couple disputes with drivers through the years, including the tackle on Brad Keselowski at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the memorable payback for Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway.

Nigel Kinrade | NKP

Kenseth got the opportunity to go out a winner, scoring his 39th career Cup Series victory at Phoenix Raceway in the second last event of 2017.

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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.