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May 10, 2023

Matt Kenseth joins NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list

Matt Kenseth NASCAR 75 graphic
NASCAR Creative Design

Fresh off a NASCAR Hall of Fame induction earlier this year, 2003 Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth can add another accolade to his stacked resumé after being named one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers on Wednesday.

The 39-time Cup Series race-winner was a fixture at the front of the field during the sport’s rise to mainstream prominence in the early 2000s, his championship run in 2003 marking the final such title in the non-playoff era. His victory tally slots him tied for 21st on the all-time winner list and includes wins at 19 of the 23 different tracks at which he competed more than once. He additionally won the 2004 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

While collecting just one victory during his championship season, it remained a dominant campaign in which he led the points standings for the final 32 weeks of the season, turning in his second-best average finish (10.3). And don’t think that the playoff system implemented after his title run hindered him in any way – Kenseth, from that point on, was a contender in the playoffs for 13 of the next 14 seasons, twice finishing runner-up.

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Known for his prominence on the sport’s superspeedways, Kenseth tallied two Daytona 500 crowns and another victory at Talladega, tossing in a Southern 500 win in 2013 at Darlington Raceway – NASCAR’s original “superspeedway.”

Before Kenseth’s JGR stint came a longtime tenure driver for Jack Roush, during which came his 2003 title triumph. He later returned to drive for Roush in a part-time capacity in 2018, followed by a partial one-season run with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2020.

MORE: Matt Kenseth through the years | All of his Cup Series wins

Kenseth also has 29 career Xfinity wins, good for eighth-best all-time. He finished in the top three in that series in 1998 and 1999, finishing just shy of good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. in both seasons.