Matt Kenseth will join longtime friend and competitor Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a tribute paint scheme this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Acknowledging two weeks ago he does not expect to race next year, Kenseth’s last race will be honored by Joe Gibbs Racing and sponsor DeWalt with a design from his rookie season. In 2000, Kenseth began his tenure in the NASCAR Cup Series driving a No. 17 DeWalt car for Jack Roush.
Earnhardt, who also began his full-time career in 2000, previously announced he would be running a paint scheme resembling his first Budweiser car.
For those keeping score, Earnhardt beat Kenseth for the Xfinity Series championship in 1998-99. But a year later, Kenseth took Rookie of the Year honors over Earnhardt. He then added a championship of his own, winning the Cup Series title in 2003. Both drivers are also two-time Daytona 500 winners.
Another interesting note: Earnhardt and Kenseth could both have their last Cup Series win recorded at Phoenix International Raceway. Should neither driver win this weekend in the season finale, Kenseth’s final victory will have been last Sunday at Phoenix while Earnhardt’s last win was at the same track in November 2015.