DeWalt to sponsor Kenseth in '99 By Shawn A. Akers CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 29, 1998) Matt Kenseth has already made a name for himself in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division this year. With Tuesday's announcement of a major sponsor...
DeWalt to sponsor Kenseth in '99 By Shawn A. Akers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 29, 1998) Matt Kenseth has already made a name for himself in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division this year. With Tuesday's announcement of a major sponsor backing him next season, 1999 looks even brighter for the 26-year-old Wisconsin native.
In a press conference held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it was announced that DeWalt Industrial Tool Company will back Robbie Reiser's No. 17 Chevrolet, driven by Kenseth, in the NASCAR Busch Series next year.
In his first full season in the NASCAR Busch Series this year, all Kenseth has done is win three races, including one Bud Pole and 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 26 starts. He is currently 97 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the race for the series championship.
The partnership with DeWalt, Kenseth said, is a perfect fit for him and the Reiser Enterprises team for next season.
"We've built a very good race team here, but to have a sponsor like DeWalt behind us for next year, we're looking to get even better and better," said Kenseth, coming off a victory two weeks ago in the MBNA Gold 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway. "They've been a major sponsor in this series for a long time, and we know we're going to have a great relationship with them.
It helps that we've gotten this out of the way now and now we can concentrate on building some new cars and becoming even that much more competitive in the Busch Series next year. We're really looking forward to a great year with DeWalt next year. Hopefully we can step it up to the next level."
The deal with Reiser Enterprises is for one season only. The team plans to move up to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in the year 2000. Kenseth made his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at Dover two weeks ago, and finished an impressive sixth while filling in for Bill Elliott in the No. 94 McDonald's Ford.
"There's no doubt that Matt has developed into a major talent in such a short time here in the Busch Series," Reiser said. "Matt has made this race team, which is a very good one in itself, that much better. And for someone like DeWalt to see that in us and that we have a lot to offer them, it's just great. Hopefully, we won't let them down next year."
If Kenseth performs as good or better next season than he has this season, that certainly won't be the case. Kenseth still has his sights set a NASCAR Busch Series title in 1997.
"We've still got a very good shot at it, but we know that he (Earnhardt Jr.) isn't just going to lay down and hand it to us," Kenseth said. "We've got a tough road ahead, and hopefully we can win a couple of more races before the season ends, then we might have a real good shot at it."
DeWalt has been a major sponsor in the NASCAR Busch Series for the past six seasons. The company announced earlier this season that it would part ways with its current driver, Hermie Sadler, at the end of the 1998 campaign.
Source: NASCAR Online