Matt Kenseth remained mum concerning his future on Friday morning, a few days after announcing his departure from Roush Fenway Racing.
Kenseth entered the weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leader and is hoping to avoid any distractions leading into the season's second half. Kenseth has one win and is 117 points ahead of 11th-place Carl Edwards. Another victory would put Kenseth in a commanding spot of at least a wild card berth.
Despite the success, Kenseth has had quite the "stressful season." He entered the season short on sponsorship and Jack Roush partially financed the team out of pocket.
"It has been really stressful to be honest with you, starting in the offseason leading into the sponsorship search and all that," Kenseth said. "That was relieved a little bit by signing Best Buy and Fifth Third (Bank), but getting to this point in the season was definitely stressful not knowing 100 percent what I was going to do."
Kenseth has finally reached a point where he is secure, for the rest of this season and for the foreseeable future. He has signed with a new team for next season (likely Joe Gibbs Racing), and Kenseth couldn't be in a better spot to win his second Sprint Cup Series championship – assuming he can get past the speculation and scrutiny of where he ends up.
"This stuff is only a distraction if we let it become one," Kenseth said. "I think it is totally up to me and the race team with how we handle this going forward. I think this will be the toughest weekend and after that I think things will settle down and we will be just fine for the rest of the year."
And as for the timetable on the 2013 announcement?
"Hopefully it will be sooner than later," Kenseth said. "That ball is not in my court, unfortunately. We are trying to get that done as soon as possible just so it is out there and we can go on. Everyone kind of has their ideas and half the story is out there, but hopefully we can get it out there and just go on."