Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, is returning to the NASCAR Cup Series, albeit in a vastly different role than ever before. The 51-year-old former driver has joined LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, with immediate effect, where he will serve as a Competition Advisor for the NASCAR Cup Series organization.
In this role, Kenseth will provide guidance and strategy on the competition side, serving as a mentor to drivers Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek, while also assisting LEGACY MOTOR CLUB in its transition to Toyota for the 2024 Cup Series season.
"Jimmie and I have so much respect for each other as both competitors and friends – we are alike in many ways and at similar points in our careers,” said Kenseth. “This is a great opportunity for me to be a resource for two extremely talented drivers and help on the racing operations side with this transition to Toyota. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together."
Both Johnson and Maury Gallagher, co-owners of the operation, are excited about the wealth of knowledge and experience that Kenseth brings with him to LEGACY M.C., a rebranded organization that will enter its second season in 2024, with a brand-new manufacturer.
Kenseth, who fought alongside Johnson in the NASCAR Cup Series for several years, was most prominent in Johnson's march to a sixth championship in 2013, with the Cambridge, Wisconsin-native being the biggest contest for the now-seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.
“Not only is Matt an excellent driver and a fierce competitor, he’s also a great friend,” Johnson said. “This alliance makes so much sense. Matt is extremely smart, has worked with Toyota while racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, and is still as competitive as ever. He’s a natural-born athlete and as fit as I have ever seen him. I’m so glad he is willing to share his knowledge and experience with us, and we look forward to all Matt has to offer.”
Kenseth originally stepped away from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2018, after departing from Joe Gibbs Racing. However, in 2019 and 2020, the driver returned for significant schedules at NASCAR's top level with RFK Racing (2019) and Chip Ganassi Racing (2020).
Throughout his career, which spanned two decades, Kenseth has scored 39 victories in the NASCAR Cup Series, including wins in the Daytona 500 (twice), Southern 500, and Coca-Cola 600, rounded out nicely with his championship trophy in 2003. In 697 starts, Kenseth recorded 182 top-five and 331 top-10 finishes, as well as 20 pole positions.
But, walking into the shop of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB won't be entirely brand-new, either, as Joey Cohen, the team's Vice President of Racing Operations, was partnered with Kenseth when he was with Roush Racing, and Cohen served as an engineer.
“Matt is going to help make this transition to Toyota smooth,” said Cohen. “He is one of the best drivers out there, and even though he is no longer behind the wheel, his perspective and advice will be crucial heading into next season for both our drivers and crews.”
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB is ready to charge into the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season with its driver lineup of Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek, both highly-contested Toyota Racing Development prospects at one time, in its No. 42 and No. 43 Toyota Camry TRDs.
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