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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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.