On April 14, NASCAR team owner Roger Penske fired the driver of the number 42 car after the driver – Kyle Larson – uttered a racial slur during an iRacing event and several sponsors dropped the driver because of his remark.
Ganassi has selected Matt Kenseth to replace Larson in the Chip Ganassi Racing number 42 Chevorlet for the remainder of the 2020 racing season once it gets started again. Like all other sports, racing has been put on hold in the wake of the Covid-19 virus.
A former NASCAR Cup champion, Kenseth has not driven in the Cup Series since 2018 when he spent some time in the Roush-Fenway Racing number six car.
Kenseth spoke on the opportunity via statement saying, “this was an unexpected opportunity for sure. I can’t say racing was even on my radar two weeks ago. After spending some time thinking about it and all the unique circumstances surrounding all of us right now, it just seemed the timing and the opportunity was perfect to come back. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to get up to speed in a relatively short period of time, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Noting that he started his career driving a Chevrolet, Kenseth added, “I’m excited to work with Kurt (Busch) again and to meet all my new CGR team members, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in a Chevrolet.”
Car owner Chip Ganassi spoke on his decision saying, “I have always said that when we have to fill a driver spot, that I owe it to our team, our partners and our fans to put the best available driver in the car. We are doing exactly that with Matt. Throughout my time in NASCAR, I have always admired the way Matt Kenseth raced. He has proven to be a consistent winner, strong competitor, and respectful driver, and I’m glad we are able to add another NASCAR champion to the team for the remainder of this season.”
In other NASCAR driver news…
When the 2020 racing season began at Daytona in February, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney were involved in a big crash on the last lap that left Ryan Newman’s car on fire and Newman trapped in his car. Luckily for Newman he suffered only a concussion with no other major injuries.
On April 26 before the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series race at Talladega, Newman announced that he was once again healthy and ready to go racing. NASCAR also announced on April 27 that Newman has been given the green flag and a medical clearance to race once the racing season resumes.
Before racing was suspended, Ross Chastain was driving the number six Roush-Fenway Racing car. Ryan Newman will retake his seat behind the wheel of the number six car.