during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Former NASCAR champ indicates he knows his career is over

Former NASCAR champ Matt Kenseth is nothing if not realistic.

At 45, the former Rookie of the Year and NASCAR champ doesn't have a ride in the 2018 season after Joe Gibbs Racing let him go. In recent comments, he seems to understand that he's at the end of the line.

Following a fourth-place finish at Bristol, a smiling Kenseth made remarks that have flown under the radar. But listen to what he had to say (as reported the the Charlotte Observer):

"I don't really have anything to be unhappy about," he said. "Things can turn on dime. But my life couldn't be much better. I've never really been in a better place. I don't think I've ever been happier. There's more to life than racing."

And, this:

"I wish it kind of maybe would have went down a different way or maybe I had another year or two there," he said. "That's not the way it worked out. I think everything happens or doesn't happen for a reason. It will all become clear."

The big line there is, "There's more to life than racing," which is so true. Kenseth has already made his mark on the sport, and he can leave with his head held high -- if that's, indeed, what happens."


Kenseth, for this season, is still focused on making the playoffs.

"I'm not worried about (2018) even really one percent anymore to be honest with you," Kenseth said. "I'm just not concerned about it. I'm really concerned about 2017 and that's the truth. I mean we've got 13 races or something left. Three to try to get into ... the playoffs. We're not in there yet."

Related: Dale Earnhardt Jr. points to Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth as victims of a changing landscape in NASCAR


For next season, Kenseth will be replaced in the No. 20 car by Erik Jones for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth said he doesn't have any plans yet for next season, and he'll "tweet something" whenever he makes a decision.