News Analysis: Circle K to sponsor Matt Kenseth for six races

What happened: Convenience store Circle K will be the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 car for six races this season, beginning with Richmond International Raceway next week.

What it means: Word of an unspecified announcement had prompted speculation that Kenseth, 45, was retiring. The team told reporters who asked that it was not a retirement announcement, but that didn’t prevent rumors from running wild on places like Twitter and Reddit. One blatantly fake news story making the rounds Tuesday even said Carl Edwards was coming back to replace Kenseth. The veteran driver sarcastically took a shot at people who ruined his off-weekend with the retirement talk, saying the fake news story was written by someone in their basement. Just as in politics, NASCAR fans will have to be careful and discerning about trusting news sources now that it’s easier than ever for people to create fake news.

News value (scale of 1-10): Three. It’s just a six-race sponsorship, but it’s notable that Circle K had not been a primary sponsor on a car before.

Questions: Even though this wasn’t a retirement announcement, what does the future hold for a driver who is currently the oldest full-time competitor on the circuit? Can JGR get Circle K to expand its sponsorship in the future? Will this prompt Sheetz or Wawa to become primary sponsors of a car?

4 Replies to “News Analysis: Circle K to sponsor Matt Kenseth for six races”

  1. IMO, JGR and Kenseth did the “Fake News” part to themselves. They could have labeled it as a new sponsorship announcement and then that would have been that but instead they chose to be vague with the announcement to create hype if you ask me.

    I’m glad it ruined his weekend and hopefully they will be more clear in the future since as a fan it’s annoying to hear all of the speculation, just come out with it.

  2. I’ve made this comment on Twitter a couple times, but I feel like there’s been an obsession over driver age and retirement in the last couple years, since we had an abundance of stars stepping away. Maybe it started when Gordon acknowledged that he might retire before he went gray. But it seems far more prevalent than in years past. At least, it seems like 15-20 years ago, no one really brought up retirement unless a driver’s results warranted it (thinking about a certain driver-turned-announcer).

    But that could also be because for about ten years, a bunch of drivers had a sort of soft retirement where they left full-time racing, but hung around looking for a Mark Martin/DEI sort of part-time competitive gig, or farming out their champ’s provisionals to teams who needed a guaranteed spot in the field.

    It’s not just Matt; I’ve seen plenty of speculation on Jimmie Johnson, and he’s still fairly competitive. Junior’s a lot more understandable.

  3. It depends on sponsorship if brands feel the driver result & personnality suits them they will drive has long they want.But the team have also change their approach.

    Driver development was gone,now it’s back they are involved super late model,ARCA,K&N east -west,truck ,Xfinity.The biggest challenge is getting to fan to like the new faces.

    All the nascar show always get the same people on,there should be a rotation to cover everyone on the grid.It would get smaller team leverage to add sponsorship.

    Welcome back CircleK to Nascar , this time in Cup

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