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NASCAR aces don’t understand why Kenseth doesn’t have 2018 drive

Leading NASCAR drivers say they cannot understand why Phoenix winner Matt Kenseth does not have a drive for the 2018 Cup season.

Joe Gibbs Racing announced in July that it was dropping 45-year-old 2003 champion Kenseth for next year.

It has recalled its 21-year-old protege Erik Jones, currently completing his rookie season with Furniture Row, to fill the vacancy in its #20 Toyota.

Kenseth took his first Cup race win in over a year at Phoenix last Sunday, days after admitting that he had run out of options for 2018.

His team-mate Kyle Busch was delighted to see Kenseth win again and thinks he deserved better from NASCAR teams.

“He’s been really down and frustrated and trying to figure out this season and what it’s all about, to try to go out there and try to win in his final season, his not‑on‑his‑own‑terms final season,” said Busch.

“It shows that there’s no reason why he couldn’t have got a job anywhere else.

“It’s just I guess the industry didn’t see Matt Kenseth as their driver, and that’s really, really unfortunate because I love the guy and have raced with respect for him for a long, long time and will forever respect him for what he’s done for the sport.”

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