Matt Kenseth’s return to NASCAR is real.
Kenseth was officially announced as a new co-driver of the No. 6 car for Roush Fenway Racing on Wednesday. Kenseth’s first race with the team will be on May 12 at Kansas Speedway. Trevor Bayne, the current driver of the No. 6, will be in the car at Talladega on Sunday and at Dover next week.
The team did not immediately announce which points races would be driven by Kenseth or Bayne past Kansas. Kenseth will compete in the All-Star Race on May 19 because of his win at Phoenix last year. The car was not previously qualified for the race.
The team also announced sponsorship from Wyndham Rewards. The hotel group will be a sponsor for the No. 6 ostensibly in the races that AdvoCare hasn’t purchased. A breakdown of what races the two companies will sponsor for the rest of the season also wasn’t announced Wednesday morning.
Kenseth, 46, won the 2003 championship with Roush Fenway Racing and raced for the team through 2012. He left Roush after the season to join Joe Gibbs Racing, where he spent five seasons. The team didn’t renew Kenseth’s contract at the end of the 2017 season and put Erik Jones in the No. 20 car for 2018.
That left Kenseth without a ride for the 2018 season and he’s spent the first nine races of the season on the sidelines. When Jack Roush called Kenseth to ask him about running a part-time schedule this season, Roush said Kenseth’s first question was why it took Roush so long to call.
“I think it’s an interesting challenge for me … I’m hoping there’s a lot of different ways I can help him,” Kenseth said.
Kenseth said he and the team had been talking for “a little while” about a possible reunion and the team did not reveal the length of Kenseth’s contract.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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