Matt Kenseth might be more talented behind the wheel than in front of a camera, but his fans likely will remember him for both.
Kenseth is set to walk away from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, albeit not by choice. And although his being forced into retirement when he still is capable of winning robs the 45-year-old of a chance to add another Cup title to his resume, his legacy within the NASCAR world encompasses more than his on-track success.
Because the motorsport industry relies heavily on income from sponsors, Kenseth starred in his fair share of commercials, which is something every driver must do. At odds with Kenseth’s reputation as boring, however, his ads were especially funny. So much so, in fact, that a spot he and actor John Krasinski filmed in 2002 helped Krasinski land the role of Jim Halpert on “The Office.”
Here are some of the hilarious ads that Kenseth appeared in throughout his career:
This video promoting Nextel’s walkie talkie phone seems extremely ironic in 2017. The main reason is that younger NASCAR fans likely aren’t old enough to remember those indestructible yellow bricks or “chirps.” What’s more, while robotic drivers don’t yet exist, there is now an international driverless racing series.
Smirnoff Ice (2003)
Personally, we wish this one didn’t end with Kenseth pretending to lock the No. 17. Since stock cars don’t actually have doors, or keys, the equivalent of locking it would be removing the wheel. As a result, it would have been funnier if he he walked into the house and left his wheel where other partygoers had left their keys.
Even though the theme of this Gillette commercial is that Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are rivals, Earnhardt claims the shoot actually helped them become close friends.
Tide Pods (2017)
Kenseth’s work in a recent Tide spot actually is fairly impressive. Not only was he able to balance on one foot as he was lifted on a jack, he stayed balanced on the platform throughout the entire commercial and refrained from laughing as he stared down “The Big Show.”
The driver of the No. 20 similarly wasn’t the reason this 2016 Tide commercial was funny, but it must have been hard not to burst out laughing while he had a wacky inflatable arm-flailing Darrell Waltrip beside him.
Blain’s Farm & Fleet (2010)
The 2003 Cup champion probably wasn’t thrilled that Blain’s Farm & Fleet resorted to the “NASCAR drivers can’t turn left” stereotype for the punchline. There’s no shortage of Blain’s commercials on Kenseth’s resume, however, and this is one of the more memorable.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images