Start No. 650 Special for Kenseth

Matt Kenseth

"It was really fun obviously what DeWalt did with this paint job and Habitat for Humanity, but doing my rookie paint job was cool as well." (Photo: Getty Images)

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Matt Kenseth's 650th start, and possibly the final, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was special in many ways.

After scoring his 39th career win last weekend, Kenseth capped off a big week by finishing eighth in his final start in the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 

"Obviously last week was a magical week or race – to win that race and then this week has been really fun," Kenseth said. "The pre-race stuff was really fun. I was glad Katie (Kenseth, wife) was able to get down here and all and having the kids here, my dad, my sister and everybody."

Dale Jr. and KensethKenseth was driving a special paint scheme that resembled the car he drove to Rookie of the Year honors in 2000. He also shared the day with friend Dale Earnhardt Jr., who he came into the sport with and battled for that rookie title. Earnhardt, who made his last start in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, also was racing a paint scheme reminiscent to his rookie car. In fact, the two took photos with their cars and respective teams on Friday.

"It was really fun obviously what DeWalt did with this paint job and Habitat for Humanity, but doing my rookie paint job was cool as well," Kenseth said. "So it was a really cool day, but once you start the engine, really didn’t think about anything to be honest with you, except for trying to go out and perform the best you can and trying to win that race.”

Kenseth, who won the 2003 Cup championship, will miss the fans the most away from racing.

"You hear them yelling right now and last week was really neat when I was doing that backwards victory lap, the Polish victory lap like (Alan) Kulwicki did at Phoenix ironically," Kenseth said. "You could hear the fans screaming through the window and just all the respect that they’ve shown me the last couple weeks has been really humbling, so probably, I’ll miss that the most.”

 

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