|Matt Kenseth and Jack Roush to part ways after 2012 season (Getty)|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR points leader Matt Kenseth is leaving Roush Fenway Racing and the No. 17 Ford at the end of the season, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be promoted to his seat in the Sprint Cup Series.
There has been widespread speculation at Sonoma that Kenseth was leaving to join Joe Gibbs Racing, but Kenseth declined before Sunday's race to discuss his future with the Roush organization, which he has been with for all but one of his 452 career starts.
"I'm very thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunities he's given me over the past 14 years. Together we have enjoyed a lot of success," Kenseth tweeted on Tuesday. "And as a team we are committed as ever to the remainder of the 2012 season and chasing a 3rd sprint cup title for Jack and RFR. Although I have nothing to announce regarding 2013, I feel the timing of this announcement gives RFR ample time to get things lined up..."
Roush did not disclose a reason in announcing Kenseth's departure Tuesday.
"I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," team co-owner Jack Roush said in a statement. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."
Some in the sport have speculation that Kenseth is headed to Gibbs Racing for either Joey Logano's seat in the No. 20 Toyota, or a fourth car. Gibbs, however, said on June 17 that he planned to re-sign the 22-year-old Logano, whose contract with JGR expires after this season.
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