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Kenseth Dumps Logano; Did What Went Around Come Back Around?

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, November 1 2015
Martinsville was not Loganoville on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Rusty Jarrett )

Martinsville was not Loganoville on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Rusty Jarrett )

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

James Brown once sang in his angry classic, The Big Payback, “Get ready that’s a fact, Get ready you Mother for the big payback.”

Joey Logano succumbed to the big payback during Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with just under 50 laps to go and while in the lead and, perhaps, headed for a fourth straight playoff victory.

And come Tuesday, it could be NASCAR issuing Matt Kenseth some payback.

Logano and his Team Penske Ford was turned from behind by Kenseth, who was multiple laps off the pace after having wreck earlier. That would be the same Matt Kenseth who was dumped by Logano while leading at Kansas with five laps to go a couple weeks back.

After that incident, which quite probably cost Kenseth a birth in the third round of the playoffs – which began Sunday at the Martinsville short track – the Joe Gibbs Racing driver mumbled some low-key threats.

After exiting the infield care center at Martinsville, Logano began to grumble.

“I got wrecked,” he shot back at a TV reporter who asked what happened. “I don’t know.  What am I supposed to say about it?  His race was over and he tried so hard to catch us the first time and he took out half the field, and he was successful the second time so I give that to him. It’s kind of a coward move.”

Logano then amended that accusation.

“Actually, a really cowardly move for a race car driver to do that, essentially someone as mature and an experienced race car driver that knows what this is all about,” Logano, who will now likely need to win one of the remaining Eliminator Round races to advance to the single-race final round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“For us, we’re just gonna go back out there and try to salvage a point or two if we can.  We’ll go to Texas and try to win.  We’re on a heckuva run.  We were still leading the race.  We’re not gonna let this take us down.  This is a strong team and he’ll have his.”

Logano insisted after the Kansas wreck that even though Kenseth put several aggressive blocks on him over the final laps, that the spin was not intentional.

Kenseth called Logano a liar for saying that.

Asked how he would race Logano in the future, Kenseth, who failed to advance to the third round of the Chase after the wreck, said, “That’s hard to say, you always race people like you’d like to be raced, that’s what I try to do until that changes and then you race them how they race you.”

After the Martinsville incident, it was Kenseth’s turn to plead not guilty.

Asked if he dumped Logano on purpose, he said, “The splitter was dragging the ground and got into the corner and certainly ruined his day. I know what it’s like to be that too. Some days you’re the bat some days you’re the ball. It’s never fun when you’re the ball so like I said disappointing end, a disappointing end to our Chase and he’s (Joey Logano) got a couple races left, he’s got the best car, he might get a couple of wins here and still have a shot at it. Certainly disappointed it came down to that.

“Man, I was out there trying to race as hard as I could for Dollar General and try to get the win. I really thought we were going to have a shot for the win before they got me the first time. Disappointed to get wiped out twice in the last four weeks with a shot to win for sure.”

So, not intentional?

“I didn’t say that,” Kenseth said.


“Well, like I said some days you get put in spots you don’t want to be in for sure,” Kenseth said. “I much rather be out there racing for a win than to be in that spot. I had two chances to win I think in the last three weeks and I got wrecked out of both of them going for the lead. One from him (Logano) and one from Brad (Keselowski, Logano’s teammate) so that’s disappointing. We should have never been in that spot trying to limp that car around and get the finish.”

There are now three races left in the season. Kenseth was asked if he thought that meant three more chances to have Logano come back at him for another big payback.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I feel like every week is a new week. Go out and race and do what you think is right, race as hard as you can and just take it one week at a time. I don’t know. I try to do the best I can. You never like to be in these situations. They really stink to be honest with you but sometimes you get put in these spots and you’ve got to try to keep respect in the garage area. You can’t get yourself ran over. You can’t get in the Chase next year and get ran over for the same reason. Like I said, hate the way it ended. Wish we were out there celebrating or having a shot for the win like we did before we got wrecked, so a disappointing day.”

Kenseth was not the only one disappointed after the race.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell walked into the media center and, when asked about the Kenseth incident, said, “We were certainly disappointed with what took place on the race track.”

O’Donnell said officials met with Kenseth, his crew chief and team owner Joe Gibbs. O’Donnell said NASCAR would meet to discuss the matter and announce any penalties on Tuesday.

What NASCAR was concerned most about was that a driver several laps down – as was Kenseth – apparently opted to alter the outcome.



| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, November 1 2015
One Comment

One Comment »

  • Rich Witt says:

    I haven’t ever really been a fan of either of these 2 guys, I do believe Matt had good right to have done It, even if his splitter was dragging:) Put yourself in his shoes being taking out of 2 of 3 races from the same race team the last few weeks. It would be hard to hold it together. Now Nascar says go get’em boys then wants to reprimand when they do. Its still entertainment even if it is racing. Did you hear the crowd roar when it went down????? It was almost as loud as Dale taking the lead :) I say nascar puts him on probation for the remainder of the year, and they should watch Penske just the same as do they Matt from here on out. I’m glad to see a little bit of that. Showing emotion like this keeps us coming back for more !!!!!