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Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth returns to the track

Posted at 11:28 PM, Jul 03, 2019

These days? This is a rare event for Matt Kenseth.

Today's TMJ4 Main Sports Anchor Lance Allan asks, "Back in the car, when was the last time you were in a car?" And Matt Kenseth says, "Ah, Homestead last year."

The Cambridge, Wisconsin, native is jumping in a race car for the first time in seven months, and local race fans are excited.

Lance asks, "I know the Slinger people said they appreciated the fact I think you broke the internet when the announcement was made by the way that you were coming back for the Slinger Nationals."

"Yeah, I'm excited to come back. It's, you know, you never know how you're going to run. But it's always fun to come back here," Kenseth said.

"Came here when I was a kid and watched the Nationals. And seeing a lot of great drivers come here and race and saw a lot of exciting races here. So it's fun for me to come back."

Kenseth returned to test for Tuesday's Slinger Nationals. In the storied history of this race, Matt has won it the most. Seven times.

"It's neat. It's, obviously, it's been a long time, since I ran my first one to this one. There's been a lot of gaps in between where I haven't ran 'em. But, yeah, they're all different, too," Kenseth said.

These days, Kenseth watches NASCAR, on occasion. And he doesn't dwell on his quiet departure from the sport.

"I feel good about it. I mean, obviously, I think, you know, perfect ending would have been, you would have kind of planned it out. And, you know, worked with your owner and been like, 'OK, I'd like to race until here.' And they would have let you race as long as you wanted to unless you were running terrible, which we weren't, and you would have moved on, but there's a lot of moving pieces there, and it's a business," Kenseth said.

A series champ like Kenseth should get a victory lap, shouldn't he?

"I mean, the Gibbs thing we pretty much ended on a win, and, I guess, if you know, earlier in the year and Joe was good to me. He let me know really early in the year that he wasn't going to be able to keep all those teams running, and they were going to have to move Erik (Jones) in there. And so he was really good about that, and I mean he didn't owe me anything.

"That's when my contract was up. And like that was all fine, and we ended, you know, winning, so that was good. And, you know, so in a way, you're like OK, you know you should stop. But in another way, it was also nice to come back and race for Jack (Roush). I wish I would have done better. I wish I could have helped the organization more. But for all the things that he did for me and my career, and getting me started and moving me into Cup. It was nice to come back there and at least try to lend a hand," Kenseth said.