Matt Kenseth announced as new No. 42 pilot

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Hurricane Relief Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chip Ganassi Racing has a new pilot for the No. 42 chevrolet in Matt Kenseth.

The replacement comes weeks after Kyle Larson was fired for saying a racial slur on an iRacing live stream.

Matt Kenseth announced as new No. 42 pilot

Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Monday morning that Kenseth would be taking over the 42 car, in a blockbuster move to land the former NASCAR Cup Series champion in the seat.

It was orginally anticipated that Ross Chastain would be the fill in for Larson so long as he didn’t have obligations with Roush Fenway Racing to fulfill.

“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, Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “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.”

There is no word yet as to if Kenseth is eligible to compete for a championship after having missed the first four races of the year.

The move to get him into the 42 car by Chip Ganassi pulled the veteran out of retirement.

This was an unexpected opportunity for sure,” Kenseth said in a release. “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. I’m excited to work with Kurt again and to meet all my new CGR team members, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in a Chevrolet. In 1988, I started my career in a Camaro and I can’t wait to finally race a Chevy in the Cup Series. I also need to thank Chip and all his partners for this opportunity. Hopefully we will be on the track soon.”

Kenseth’s last race was in Homestead in the 2018 season finale as part of a 15-race stretch he ran for Roush Fenway Racing after Trevor Bayne was let go from his full-time spot with the team.

He finished with two top 10’s in those 18 races, both being in the final two events, with his best finish of the year being sixth in that same race at Homestead.

Kenseth comes into the new ride with 18 full seasons of NASCAR Cup Series experience including 39 wins, 181 top 5’s, and 329 top 10’s.

He earned 25 top 10 finishes during the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series season in route to his NASCAR Cup Series championship.

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Also, during the rest of the Shut Down period, feel free to visit our central hub of classic race coverage our writers have worked hard to compile during the break.

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