CALINOFF: Matt Kenseth and My Wedding

So, here’s a good Kenseth story.

From his very first visit to Pocono in 2000 until, well, early last Sunday evening, @MattKenseth dreaded going to the “Tricky Triangle.” Bad enough, we had to go twice. There was just something about the place that plagued him. At the end of every race he’d say, “Sorry guys, I really suck here.” By the time he got to his rental car I would text, “You really do suck here” – just to make light of the day.

I’m not a big fan of the place either. For a spotter, it undoubtedly offers the worst view on the circuit. Turn one is far away, and it’s tough to clear your driver off turn three. So it was a collective set of circumstances that always made for a bad weekend. It’s one of the venues that I don’t miss.

In July of 2005, I got married on the weekend of the Pocono race. It was on a Friday night so that my friends could attend. It was quite the gala at a resort in the Pocono Mountains called The Chateau.

Well, five years later we went our separate ways. We divorced, and I buried her in my backyard. Just kidding. She’s alive and well – and we’re even Facebook friends.

Although Matt was sympathetic, he relished the opportunity to kick up his sarcastic smartass sense of humor – in a manner that I’ve been accustomed to for the past fifteen years.

Prior to each Pocono race beginning in 2011, Kenseth would either text, email or transmit on the radio some sarcastic quip about my wedding or the demise of my marriage.

“Getting married this weekend?”, “Hey, is your wedding Friday or Saturday?”, “How come I didn’t get an invitation to your wedding?”, “Oh, just so you know, I forgot to get you a wedding gift.”  It’s continued to this very day – and I suspect for years to come. With him, it just never ends.

In 2012, for the first time in his career, he led some laps June in the race – I think it was ten or so. When he crossed the line for the sixth lap, he keyed up his mic and said, “Calinoff, I’ve now led more laps here than the amount of years you were married.” Nothing out of the ordinary.

On Saturday night of this year’s June race, he sent me a text:


MATT: Hey, I was thinking about you today.

ME: What was the occasion?

MATT: I took a ride on my motorcycle today and rode right past the Chateau.

ME: That’s probably what I should have done!

MATT: LOL! That was funny!


Aside from him, his family and team, I don’t think there was anyone happier than I to see him take the checkers on Sunday. It was always such a struggle, so it was cool for him to be able to enjoy the success.

After the race, I sent him a text with congratulations noting my joy and surprise that he won at Pocono – and referenced a milestone.


Matt Text

By Mike Calinoff

Over the past twenty-three years, Mike has become a notable figure in the NASCAR community.

As a Spotter, he spent a total of 14 seasons with Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY Series.

All told, at Roush Fenway Racing, he garnered over 40 wins including three Championships and two Daytona 500’s.

At the end of 2013, Mike left Roush Fenway to focus on his companies and stays active in the NASCAR community at many levels.

Mike was a regular guest on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, featured "act" Speed TV's Trackside Live and makes on occasional cameo on soap operas. (Really?)

He has an affinity for starting new things, such as Popular Speed and 140 BUZZ – a PR, Marketing and Social Media company.

Many 140 BUZZ clients are NASCAR teams, drivers and sponsors and represent many of the most visible brands in NASCAR and other business categories.

Mike is also a Driver Development consultant, where he works with families and drivers around the country to set a career path.

As a stand-up comic Mike is, without a doubt, the funniest guy he knows.

Calinoff lives in Lake Norman, NC

2 replies on “CALINOFF: Matt Kenseth and My Wedding”

That’s awesome to hear, thanks for that, Kenseth fans never get much on stories like that, i get it, I’m pieces too,thanks

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