|Kenseth has a new number. Sort of...|
Fifth Third will back Kenseth in Saturday night’s Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway June 30, the Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 29 and the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway August 19.
"Fifth Third Bank is excited to partner with Roush Fenway Racing and Matt Kenseth on this Sprint Cup Series sponsorship," said Greg Carmichael, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fifth Third Bancorp. "Our organizations share many common values including a focus on teamwork and a desire to challenge the status quo to be the best at what we do. We are looking forward to working with the Roush Fenway Racing organization and Matt Kenseth to help drive our business and build the Fifth Third Bank brand."
An announcement from Roush Fenway Racing last week promised news regarding a “new number on Matt Kenseth’s Sprint Cup Ford Fusion," giving rise to rampant speculation that Kenseth’s Ford might forfeit it familiar No. 17 in favor of a new number. Team officials stressed today that the No. 17 will remain, however, with the bank’s “5/3” logo appearing only on the hood and rear quarter panels of the car.
Kenseth has run the No. 17 in all but one of his regular NASCAR National Series starts over a 17-year career. He drove Carl Wegner’s No. 55 Chevrolet in his Busch Grand National (now Nationwide) Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 1996, but the next season, steered Robbie Reiser’s No. 17 machine in 21 of the 30 Busch Series events. He has remained with that number ever since.