Diehard Packers fan Matt Kenseth likely to draw ire from Bears fans on signing of DE Julius Peppers

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It’s a good thing Matt Kenseth won’t be racing in the Chicago area until the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener on Sept. 14.

He’d be wise to stay away from the Windy City until then at all costs.

Maybe if he’s lucky, Chicago Bears fans will have forgotten Kenseth’s provocative comment during the rain delay of Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

A native of tiny Cambridge, Wisc. (1,200 residents), Kenseth is an unabashedly lifelong diehard fan of the Green Bay Packers.

And he absolutely, positively hates the Packers’ No. 1 rivals, the dreaded Bears.

So when the Packers signed free agent Julius Peppers on Friday, one day after the 34-year-old veteran defensive end was told by the Bears that after four seasons he no longer fit into the team’s plans for 2014, Kenseth gloated.

“I see the Packers signed Julius Peppers, a rare free agent signing,” said during Sunday’s race rain delay on FoxSports. “I’m kind of excited about that.”

Okay, that wasn’t too bad in terms of rubbing it in to Bears fans.

But then Kenseth stepped over the line.

“He (Peppers) must have seen the light, left the Bears and went to the Packers,” Kenseth said. “That’s cool.”

Seen the light? Oh, Matt, Bears fans are going to make you pay for that.

Given how excited Kenseth is about Peppers’ signing, one has to wonder if he and wife Katie might call their soon-to-be-born third daughter some type of derivative of Julius.

Can you say Julie or Julia Kenseth, perhaps?

(Actually, those names have a pretty good ring to them.)

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Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”