Gas 'N' Go: Should Kenseth Run Nationwide Race?

Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth is entered in Saturday's Nationwide race, which will mark his 14th start in the series this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and,'s Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Matt Kenseth is entered in the Nationwide race this weekend at Texas. Should Kenseth run that race even though he's going for a Sprint Cup title?

MRN Staff


Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

My distaste for Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series is growing stronger every day, but I digress. My answer to this question has nothing to do with that situation.

If I were Joe and J.D. Gibbs, I would absolutely forbid Kenseth from running the Nationwide Series race this weekend. Any owner is wrong for letting their driver compete in the weekend preliminary race at this stage of the game if they are in the running for the Cup title.

There's much more to lose than gain by having Kenseth compete in Saturday's Nationwide race. I know all about sponsors and the possibility for Kenseth to learn something about the track that he could put into play in Sunday's main event, but it's all about risk vs. reward. The one giant negative - a crash and possible injury - far outweighs anything remotely beneficial.

Stay focused on the most important prize and that's winning the Sprint Cup crown.

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

I have no problem with Matt Kenseth competing in the Nationwide race. 

Yes, there’s a risk. Competitors live with risk every day. They justify it by saying that something can happen to them just getting to the track. Doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with that, but it is the racer’s mentality. 

Kenseth knows what’s at stake. His only title came 10 years ago. His last serious run for the championship was in 2006. There’s no guarantee there will be other chances to win the crown. 

Maybe Kenseth feels he can get something out of running the Nationwide car that could help him in the Cup race. Maybe Kenseth would rather be busy instead of being constantly reminded of what’s at stake. Maybe Kenseth just wants to race. So let him.  


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