Matt Kenseth had been with Roush his entire NASCAR career until his move to Joe Gibbs Racing. (Getty Images)
The worst kept seceret in recent NASCAR history became official on Tuesday when Matt Kenseth was introduced as the newest driver at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kenseth said ten weeks ago he planned to leave Roush Fenway Racing, where he had spent his entire Sprint Cup career, but wasn't able to confirm his new address.
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"Surprise," Kenseth said when he came out on stage at Tuesday's press conference.
“We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season,” said
Kenseth has 22 Sprint Cup victories and is a former champion. He's currently third in the series standings and although is thrilled to be able to talk about his new deal with JGR is also looking forward to gunning for a second title this season.
“I'm excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be,” Kenseth said. “I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation into another starting in 2013.”
Kenseth insisted his decision to change scenery was not about any bad blood at Roush Fenway.
"At the end of the day, it was a really unique opportunity," Kenseth said. "As a driver, you want to put yourself in a position that's going to be the most competitive to achieve your goals, and I felt like this was it.
"There are a lot of things – too many to list. At the end of the day, it was just really a unique opportunity. It's somewhere where it's not only a good fit, but it's all about winning races and championships.”
Kenseth joins holdovers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in the new-look three-car JGR stable.
"When we realized there might be a possibility to get Matt, we realized it would be foolish not to do that," said team president J.D. Gibbs.