There 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.