Edwards’ decision caught Kenseth by surprise – Nascar

RELATED: Full timeline of Edwards announcement

Joe Gibbs Racing
driver Matt Kenseth said he was “as surprised as anyone” when he learned that teammate Carl Edwards was stepping away from auto racing.

Kenseth addressed the changing guard at Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday following a Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas.

“I didn’t find out until late Sunday night, and I was probably as shocked as anybody else was,” Kenseth said. “I guess the more I think about, probably the less surprised I am knowing some of the conversations we’ve had in the past. He’s a great teammate, and a great competitor.

“You hate to see him go, but on the other hand, it’s what he wants to do so I applaud him for doing it.”

RELATED: Three reasons for Edwards’ decision

Edwards revealed in Wednesday’s press conference that Kenseth was his first competitor that he talked to about his decision.

The pair have a deep history. The two were teammates at Roush Fenway Racing from 2004-2012, then again at Joe Gibbs Racing from 2015-2016.

Kenseth also added that he thought Daniel Suarez would do a fine job filling the seat, but that the two hadn’t spoken yet.

The veteran will turn 45 in March, and he’s coming off a two-win season and a near-trip to the Championship 4. As for his future? He’s not planning on leaving any time soon.

“I feel great,” Kenseth said. “I enjoy what I’m doing, I love the race team I drive for and all the people there. I’m looking forward to the start of the season.”

Denny Hamlin, a fellow JGR teammate, has tweeted out the following as well: