After making his return to NASCAR Cup Series competition May 12 at Kansas Speedway, Matt Kenseth will climb into the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. For the exhibition race, the Ford will carry a special livery reminiscent of the paint scheme on the former No. 6 RFR that pilot Mark Martin drove to the All-Star race win in 1998. That victory was 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee and RFR owner Jack Roush’s first win of the event.
“Our paint scheme this week is a nod to Jack’s first All-Star win in 1998 with Mark,” Kenseth said in a press release from the race team. “Obviously, those two have meant so much to my career, and it’s cool to honor both of them this weekend.”
Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in January 2017. Kenseth won the 2004 All-Star Race, the second event win for Roush Fenway Racing, and Martin added a third in 2005.
“The 1998 All-Star Race was really cool for me,” Martin said in the press release. “We were running third with two laps to go and passed Bobby Labonte coming off of four for the white flag. Jeff Gordon was gone up front, and about the time I passed Bobby, Jeff pulled over to the inside and slowed. I was like, ‘Wow.’ All of a sudden we were in the lead. We had no idea we were going to win the race, and it happened just that quickly. Those can be some of the best wins because you just never see it coming.”
In all, Roush Fenway has four All-Star Race wins, most recently with Carl Edwards in 2011.
The car Kenseth will drive in the All-Star Race on Saturday also will promote the #DoYouKnowJack campaign in an effort to get Roush elected as a 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame. The aim of the social media campaign is to educate stock car racing fans and members of the Hall of Fame voting committee on the accomplishments of Roush as a team owner.
“There are a lot of things that people don’t know about Jack Roush,” Martin said in a release announcing the campaign. “But I’ll tell you this, without Jack Roush, you’ve probably never heard of Mark Martin. You might have never heard of Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth or Greg Biffle or Jeff Burton or a lot of others. Jack gave us the chance to drive his race cars and the chance to succeed at the highest level doing what we loved to do. I can’t say enough about the opportunity Jack gave me...He gave me a second chance when no one else would, and if not for Jack Roush, I can assure you my name wouldn’t be there in that Hall today.”
NASCAR Hall of Fame voting day is May 23.
The Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 team is the second to unveil a retro paint scheme for the 2018 All-Star Race. Kasey Kahne’s No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet will resemble the No. 9 Gillett-Evernham Dodge with which Kahne won the 2008 All-Star Race.