Matt Kenseth Shows Total Lack of Class at Martinsville

nascar-sprint-series-logoThere is no defending what Matt Kenseth did to Joey Logano during Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville. Kenseth intentionally wrecked the race leader with 50 laps to go, not only depriving Logano of likely his fourth win in a row, but also putting his chances of moving into the final four of NASCAR’s Chase in jeopardy.

This all goes back to a couple of weeks ago in Kansas when Kenseth was trying to block Logano, who had the faster car, from taking over the lead. Logano lifted a couple of times to avoid contact, but the third time he didn’t and spun Kenseth. It was clean, hard racing. It’s a simple as that. Kenseth, like a few other NASCAR drivers (Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart), thinks he is the only one who knows how to drive, and he obviously holds the manual for the unwritten rules for the sport.

What makes the wreck on Sunday even worse is that earlier in the race Kenseth got behind Logano and gave him a couple of taps in the bumper. Logano moved out of the way and let Kenseth go by. Message was sent and received – and that should have been the end of it.

Watch the video from Sunday. This is a no-brainer. All the announcers called it what it was, an intentional move, and NASCAR immediately said that they would not allow Kenseth to finish the race, even if his car was still operational. In addition, they quickly announced that the driver, crew chief, and owner were summoned in front of the sport’s governing body immediately after the race. So everyone knew exactly what it was.

Behavior like this is the kind of thing that drives fans away from the sport. Of course, I suppose for some bottom feeders this is the reason they like NASCAR. Those are the same people that drive like maniacs on our local highways and flip you off when you have the nerve to call them on it. They are the same people in the stands cheering Kenseth’s move.

If NASCAR doesn’t take a strong stand after this, something is seriously wrong. And it shouldn’t just be about today. They have got to stop this kind of crap. I’m tired of fist fights in the pits and garage after damn near every race.

I don’t like fights in any of my other sports either – and they are not tolerated (except hockey, which is another issue altogether). Time to clean up your act, NASCAR, or risk losing even more fans.

Tired of the NASCAR Crybabies

nascar-sprint-series-logoIt seems that the start of a new NASCAR season hasn’t changed anything. At the end of nearly every race toward the end of last season, at least one driver got to the interview area and started whining and crying about the way another drove. It seems that a few of the drivers have decided that they are the arbiters of what “proper” driving is.

One of the worst is Kevin Harvick. This self-important know-it-all was in the middle of a lot of those incidents last season, and he started 2015 the same way. At the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night, Harvick bumped the wall late in the race after a bump in the tail from Joey Logano. At the end of the race, Harvick decided to confront Logano and take him to task for what he deemed “really dumb driving.”

Logano had been driving the way you have to drive at Daytona, drafting close behind the car in front of you to create the aerodynamics needed to get to the front. Logano said he understood why Harvick was a little frustrated, but he also knows that is the kind of drafting necessary to get to the front at Daytona.

“I was just trying to help, really,” Logano said after the race. “We had a run and I just kept pushing. Apparently his car was tight. I was doing the same thing with the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) all night and it was working.”

Logano’s comments were backed up by a couple of other drivers after the race.

Harvick may have been a little tight because his car was also a mess. He’d been involved in a crash earlier and his team had had to work hard to get the car back to racing form. They did a hell of a job, but I have to believe Harvick may not have had the issue late in the race with a healthy car. Doesn’t matter though. Harvick is the smartest man on the track and is the only one who knows the proper way to race.

“He thinks he was helping, but you can’t just drive somebody straight into the corner into the fence,” he said.

Look, I have never driven a car that fast – nor do I want to. I have watched a lot of races, however, and it’s easy to tell when a driver is being reckless (like Kyle Busch often is) or intentionally trying to wreck someone. For what it’s worth, it appears Logano didn’t do either. I believe it was just good, hard racing and Harvick was just upset he finished 11th in an exhibition race. Kinda sad.

There were plenty of crashes in the race, and all the other drivers interviewed were much more casual about it, often using the phrase “that’s racing.” That may be because it was just an exhibition race with nothing on the line. That didn’t matter to Harvick though.

If your car isn’t fast enough, Kevin, perhaps it’s best to just get out of the way and keep your mouth shut.