Who Will Follow Matt Kenseth's Lead and Change Teams After 2014 NASCAR Season?

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Who Will Follow Matt Kenseth's Lead and Change Teams After 2014 NASCAR Season?
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
A new home has certainly worked out quite well for Matt Kenseth. Will that become the inspiration for even more drivers whose careers are stuck in neutral deciding to leave their current teams after the 2014 season?

There comes a time in most NASCAR drivers' careers that they move on to another team.

It's rare that one driver stays with one team throughout his career. In fact, of the 13 drivers who were in this past season's Chase, only four remain with the same team they began their Cup careers with—Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.

Sometimes, drivers are simply let go. Ryan Newman, who was told there was no more room at the Stewart-Haas Racing inn after 2013, is a perfect example. Fortunately for Newman and his fans, he's bounced back well and will race for Richard Childress Racing in 2014.

Some drivers change team by happenstance. Tony Stewart is a perfect example. He likely would still be with Joe Gibbs Racing had he not been offered a 50 percent equity stake in what was Haas CNC Racing—which, of course, is now Stewart-Haas Racing.

And then there are drivers who leave by choice. They've either spent too long in one place or feel that their career needs a jolt; a change of address and scenery often pays huge dividends. Look at what happened when Matt Kenseth decided to leave Roush Fenway Racing and move to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2013 season.

I wouldn't be surprised that Kenseth's move certainly played a part in the thinking of guys like Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch in making the decision to leave their former teams and move on for 2014, with both, ironically enough, winding up together at SHR.

They're both looking for the missing piece that they were unable to find at their previous places of employment, namely, the key to winning the first career Sprint Cup championship for Harvick and the second for the older Busch brother.

With the start of the 2014 season now just two months away, we thought we'd look at five key drivers who very well may be starting their final season with their current teams.

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