Hornish out, Logano out and in, Kenseth in

UPDATE #6 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

Kenseth (above) will replace Logano in the No. 20 Home Depot car

09/03/12 Joey Logano didn’t deny this past weekend that he had a deal done with Penske Racing, and an announcement is expected this week that he will move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Penske starting in 2013, according to sources and published reports.

Logano, 22, who has spent all four of his Cup seasons at JGR, would drive the Shell/Pennzoil-sponsored No. 22 Cup car, currently driven by Sam Hornish Jr. after AJ Allmendinger was fired in July for failing a NASCAR drug test. When asked Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway if the deal with Penske was done, Logano said, “I’ve got nothing to tell you, yet."

As rumors swirled over the AMS race weekend that the deal was done, Logano’s and Shell’s representatives did not confirm nor deny the rumors, and The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that Logano would take over the No. 22 ride. Sources familiar with the situation said they expected an announcement this week.

On Tuesday, JGR will announce that Matt Kenseth will replace Logano in its No. 20 car with sponsorship from The Home Depot and Dollar General. Sporting News

Kenseth said to replace Logano (above) in the Home Depot car

08/29/12 Joe Gibbs Racing plans to announce next Tuesday [Sept. 4th] that Matt Kenseth will be its newest driver beginning in 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup champion will take over the #20 team driven by Joey Logano with Home Depot as his primary sponsor. JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway he still held out hope of re-signing Logano and adding a fourth team if sponsorship can be found. Logano is not expected to be a part of Tuesday's press conference. Logano also is a candidate for the #22 Cup team at Penske Racing. He recently said he was not interesting in a part-time Cup ride and full-time Nationwide Series ride that was one of his options at JGR. "He was OK with that until another opportunity came up," Gibbs said of Logano. ESPN

07/30/12 Matt Kenseth will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, but according to multiple sources, the Sprint Cup points leader can't talk about it until mid- to late-August at the earliest due to a stipulation in his current contract with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush announced last month that the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was leaving after the 2012 season and would be replaced by reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Kenseth confirmed at the time he has a deal for 2013, but declined to discuss details. RFR officials declined to comment on any portion of Kenseth's contract. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs declined on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to comment on Kenseth's situation. But Gibbs said the goal was to have four teams in 2013, and that every effort was being made to re-sign Joey Logano, whose contract expires after this season, if sponsorship can be found.

"We want him to retire at JGR," Gibbs said. "We're trying to figure out how to make all of that work." Sources said Kenseth would take over the Home Depot and likely Dollar General sponsors currently on Logano's #20 Toyota. They left open the possibility of Kenseth running the #20 or another number. Sources said JGR has looked at several options for Logano, from running a full-time Nationwide schedule and part-time Cup schedule to running a full-time Cup schedule with a part-time or full-time Nationwide slate. "We've talked a number of different potentials, but obviously we'd like him to be in Cup full-time," Gibbs said. Logano also has been shopping for other options in 2013. The #22 car at Penske Racing could become one spot with driver AJ Allmendinger indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy. Kenseth isn't talking to anybody, at least not about his future after Roush. "No," he recently said when asked if he could shed light on his 2013 plans. "I hoped to do it a couple of weeks ago. I don' t know when it's gonna happen. You guys will know the same time I do, I guess." ESPN

Jayski rumors that he is hearing Kenseth will be in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar General as the primary co-sponsors. Current driver Joey Logano could end up in a 4th JGR Toyota or could head elsewhere, such as the #22 Penske Racing Ford if A.J. Allmendinger doesn't return to that ride in 2013.

07/11/12 For nearly two weeks, #17-Matt Kenseth has been hounded by one question. And moments after guiding his Harley-Davidson into Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader heard it again. Now that his profitable 14-year partnership with car owner Jack Roush is over, just what team will Kenseth drive for next season? Once again, Kenseth deftly danced around the answer.

"We've been together forever with Roush," Kenseth said. "Three or four years ago we made a commitment to race together through 2012. That never got extended through 2013, so we will just race as hard as we can until the end of this season." The hottest rumor involves Kenseth landing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Meanwhile, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will replace Kenseth in the familiar #17 Ford next season. Kenseth was in Bristol Tuesday as part of the NASCAR Winner's Circle program to promote the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS on Aug. 25. Along with NASCAR television personality Kyle Petty, Kenseth rode his motorcycle from Smokies Park in Sevierville to BMS with members of Rolling Thunder, a group made up mostly of military veterans. Rolling Thunder's purpose is to bring awareness to those military members who were prisoners of war or are missing in action.

The 40-year-old Kenseth refused to offer any hints as to his future place of employment. He added that he hasn't discussed the issue with fellow competitors. "I really haven't talked to anyone about it, except for the parties involved," Kenseth said. "After Roush put the release out that I wasn't going to be back in 2013 and I got through last weekend, it was almost a relief in a way because the last two or three months have been somewhat stressful. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and what was going to happen. With all that being out there now, I can just concentrate on the season." #24-Jeff Gordon, who has been affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who has a longer partnership than Kenseth and Roush. Bristol Herald Courier

07/01/12 Joey Logano didn't know anything more about his 2013 plans Friday than he did Tuesday morning before Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth was leaving its organization. Kenseth is expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing, either in a fourth car or as a replacement for Logano, who does not have a contract for next year.

"I've heard nothing new," Logano said following qualifying at Kentucky Speedway. "We're still up in the air on a lot of things."

Team president J.D. Gibbs said Wednesday that he would like Logano to remain at JGR long term but the sides don't have a deal done for 2013. Gibbs declined to discuss whether Kenseth was joining the organization. "We want (Logano) to be here forever," Gibbs said Wednesday. "That's kind of what we're working on. Until you have stuff laid out (and can say), 'Here's the plan,' it's not really worth talking about." Sporting News

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