Lazenby: Where will that hotdog, Kenseth end up?


DARLINGTON, S.C. — Ousted from his ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth appeared to be fading into retirement after the 2017 season, but since early May he has reprised his role at Roush Fenway Racing, sharing the No. 6 Ford with Trevor Bayne.

“Probably the hardest part is just kind of coming in somewhat mid-season, partial-season, doing part-time and trying to get some momentum and trying to get the lay of the land and trying to get things rolling,” said Kenseth.

Oscar Mayer, returned to RFR this weekend for the throwback festivities. The brand, known for their hotdogs, handed out whistles to the media during Kenseth’s press conference. Even after time away from the automotive circus, Kenseth still has chops.

“Honestly, the hardest part has been these guys handing out wiener whistles in the middle of me doing this,” said Kenseth. “Itís very distracting.††Everybody is looking at them and laughing and giggling and wondering what theyíre supposed to do with them and Iím trying to concentrate on your question.”

In eight races so far this year, Kenseth has amassed five top-20 finishes. His average finish is 22.5, 1.9 positions better than Bayne, the driver he shares seat time with. Even with a handful of races left, Kenseth isn’t willing to discuss silly season rumors or speculative plans for next year. It appears that he isn’t ready to hang up his helmet, but whether that means more part-time driving or a full season endeavor remains to be determined.

He considers that topic as something “to be talked about at a later date.” His focus is on continuing to improve the performance of Roush Fenway Racing. “I wish our results were better than what they were, but yet on the other hand I feel like weíve made a lot of progress.††It doesnít really show necessarily on the stat sheets or the box score all the time, but I feel like weíve made a lot of progress and really just trying to keep that going and keep moving forward and keep trying to get more competitive by the end of the season.Ē

For his ninth race of the season, Kenseth starts 15th. He’s won this race, the Southern 500 once before, in 2013. He called it “one of the most exciting wins (he’s) probably ever had.”

Though Kenseth deflected a question about his plans for the 2019 season, credentialed media members continued to ask about his future in the sport.

“I think I already gave you the best answer non-answer I could come up with,” said Kenseth. “I think you pretty much repeated that question, so just go back in the notes and repeat my answer.††I donít think I can give a non-answer that good again, so youíre gonna have to go back and look at the transcript.”

Another reporter didn’t take the hint and asked if he’d accept an offer to drive the No. 41 for Stewart Hass Racing. ďAgain, Iím just trying to get running the best we can this year.††Iím certainly not talking about next year and I havenít really put as much thought into it as you all have, honestly.”

“I think I still have seven races left this season.††Trevor has a few races.††I have not made the impact at Roush Fenway Racing at least in the finishes and the performance necessarily as I had hoped, or as big of a one as I hoped.”

Would he be interested in owning and running a team in NASCAR? “That one I can for sure answer for you, I have exactly zero percent interest in ownership of a race car.††That one Iíll give you a straight answer on.”

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About Camden Lazenby

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