Matt Kenseth Hall of Fame nominee bio

Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk
Getty Images


Born: March 10, 1972

Hometown: Cambridge, Wisconsin

Cup Series Stats

Competed: 1998-2020

Starts: 697 Wins: 39 Poles: 20

Years on Ballot: 1

Matt Kenseth’s unassuming, every-man demeanor disguised an inarguable truth: He was one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers ever. A quick glance at his resume would prove his brilliance behind the wheel.

Over 18 full-time seasons Kenseth quietly filled his trophy cases, conquering every major milestone on the Cup Series schedule, including two Daytona 500s, the Southern 500, Coca-Cola 600 and the All-Star Race. His 39 Cup wins tie for 21st on the all-time list and include wins at 19 of the 23 tracks at which he competed more than once.

His crowning achievement was his 2003 Cup Series championship, a thoroughly impressive season in which he led the points standings for the final 32 weeks of the season. And though he ‘only’ captured that one title, Kenseth was consistently in championship contention — he made the playoffs in 13 of 14 seasons and finished runner-up twice.

Success came early to the 2000 Cup Series Rookie of the Year. He finished sixth in his first Cup Series start and finished runner-up in the standings in his first Xfinity Series season. Kenseth has 29 career Xfinity wins, eighth-best all time.