Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2016 Recap/2017 Outlook – Matt Kenseth
Consistency was once again the name of the game for Matt Kenseth during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Cambridge, WI native scored two victories and qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the seventh consecutive season.
Car No. 20
Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Points Finish: 5th
2016 Quick Summary: Kenseth finished the 2016 campaign with another top five points finish after scoring wins Dover (May) and at Loudon (July). It wasn’t the textbook week after week consistently good to great finishes we are used to seeing from the 2003 premier series champion but more times often than not especially during the Chase, Kenseth found his stride, recording only two finishes outside the top – 20 in the final ten races.
2016 Highlight(s): Kenseth’s win in May at Dover was one of the wildest races during the 2016 season. After a late race stack up that took out a chunk of the field, He was able to hold off Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott over the final 47 laps to score the victory.
2016 Lowlight(s): Kenseth appeared to be on his way to a Championship 4 berth at Phoenix in November after leading 55 of the race’s final 67 laps until a late race restart on lap 317, when he was collected in a wreck with Alex Bowman which ended any hope of a second premier series championship. He would go on to finish 21st.
2017 Outlook: Even though Kenseth enters his 18th season of full-time competition in NASCAR’s top series in 2017 don’t expect the 44-year-old to slow down as he continues the fire that made him a champion and a perennial championship contender in the mid-2000’s. Kenseth just sits two wins shy of 40 premier series wins for his already certain Hall of Fame career. With Jason Ratcliff returning to the top of the pit box and one of the best pit crews in the business at his disposal look for 2017 to be business as usual for Kenseth and the No. 20 team.
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