All Respect for Matt Kenseth has Been Lost

All Respect for Matt Kenseth has Been Lost

A few weeks ago NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano were racing for the win at Kansas Speedway. Matt Kenseth blocked the faster Logano and Logano charged to move him out of the way and win the race. This is the type of racing fans want and NASCAR wants for the fans. In a way this is the ultimate NASCAR; the faster car racing the slower car at the end of a race for the win.

Fast forward a couple weeks. Matt Kenseth races hard at Martinsville Speedway even though he is now out of the hunt for the Sprint Cup Championship; not directly from the events at Kansas but Kansas didn’t help. He is having a great day at arguably one of the toughest tracks in NASCAR. He races to the front along with Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski.

In spite of this being the “Knock out Chase” with both Penske teammates in it. Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski were working together. Logano took the outside line on the restarts expecting Keselowski who restarted in second to let him in in the front. They did just that; the ultimate teammate play. In a way not teammates have every worked that hard together in such a critical race.

I got hit from behind and pushed me into the 20 and my right-front wheel hit Kenseth’s left-rear and it just broke the right-front suspension off the car.”  Keselowski added, “The car wouldn’t turn and just kept going straight until I couldn’t do anything and I started wrecking everybody.  I just didn’t have any steering wheel left.

After that Matt Kenseth had had enough!  When he got back on the track and was laps down after Logano, who was the race leader passed him, Kenseth drove in deep and got into the left rear corner of Logano and drove him into the corner, ending his day and possibly his Championship contention.

I love NASCAR, I love payback but there is a fine line where payback becomes bad sportsmanship. This was that pure and simple. There is a difference between making it difficult for a competitor and driving them into the wall.

Yeah.  I think what happened at Kansas is a completely different deal.  We were racing for the win and he blocks you a few times and then we raced hard and he blocked me the last time and we spun out.  That’s what happened there.”  Logano added, “Here it was just a complete coward move, especially for a championship race car driver and race team.  Just a complete coward.  I don’t have anything else to say. It’s a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over.

I could leave it at that but Matt Kenseth didn’t own up to it. Whether you like it or not respect can also come from owning up to what happened. He didn’t, he put a spin on it.

Kenseth said, “Well it’s a really disappointing day. I thought we were going to have a shot at the win there and they were jacking up the restart real bad to let each other in as teammates which is fine and I probably went in there and I got on the other side of Joey (Logano) and I was going to try to race him for the win and Brad (Keselowski) wiped me out for some reason. I’m not really sure why. And then we had so much damage on the right front I should have probably just put it in the garage and just got into (turn) 1 and couldn’t get it to turn and ran Joey over. So, disappointing ending for sure.

Make no mistake about it. Joey Logano has taken it to them. He has won the last three races, qualified on the pole for this race, led the most laps and was on the way to win a record breaking four races in a row. Matt Kenseth made no friends here. The only thing he can feel good about is putting Jeff Gordon into contention for the Championship at Homestead Miami in three weeks.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Feature Photo Credit: 313897 Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images


58 thoughts on “All Respect for Matt Kenseth has Been Lost”

    1. No respect lost with me. Not a fan of any of these drivers. It is about respect. The Penske teams race as though they are the only ones on the track and expect everybody else to roll over. How about inconsistencies. Nothing wrong with Harvick wrecking the field at Dega? He didn’t admit to anything. Rusty Wallace motto was if you touch me I will take you out. Nobody cried over that. Penske needs to focus on racing and their reputation and let the rest take care of itself. If you take an honest look at the events, Joey should have known he was on bad terms with Kenseth. When Joey went into the turn it was obvious that Kenseth wasn’t going to give him the bottom. Joey turned down anyway expecting Kenseth to let him pass. When Joey made contact, Kenseth probably had had enough?

    2. I seriously doubt if Matt Kenseth cares if YOU lost any respect for him. Why are you surprised this happened? It’s all we heard all week. Of course, Logano may have been surprised because he said before the race that he wasn’t worried about it. Oh yeah? I bet he was AFTER the race. And the spectators at Martinsville seemed to GAIN respect for Kenseth.

    3. NO ITS JUST AS THIS ARTICLE STATES. GET REAL!!!!! If you want to say enough is enough why didnt Kenseth let Joey by in Kansas???? Thats what started it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. So Matts excuse for plowing into Lagano was the same reason Brad gave for getting into Matt on the earlier restart…..He lost control of his steering?….Was Matt mocking Brad? Matt needs to man up to his actions……

  2. Really you only speak/write for yourself. I have not lost any respect for Matt. He handled incident on the track, not on pit road, not in the garage, not in motorcoach parking lot..didn’t involve any other drivers..I truely believe he has Brad & Joey’s attention now, enough is enough. If they want to race that way, fine Matt raced their way. NASCAR needs to let it go, and at least be consistent by doing NOTHING. It’s been settled on to the drama of next chase race and I do believe NASCAR has gotten the drama out of the chase they so wanted.

  3. way to go Matt and for all you babies Matt is not the only driver to not own up none of the drives own up when they take some one out Logano got what he had coming i hope him and brad get some more

  4. I really did not lose any respect for matt tonight but he should be suspended for the rest of The season. But I will tell you one thing if I was Joey Logano I would raise the level of pay back so high nobody would ever think of wrecking me ever again.

    1. And then you think the level of punishment for the punk would also get so high as what you advocate for Matt? Matt is the reason the real perpetrator, Brian France, created this Chase crap in the first place. This was when Joey was still in a go cart. My respect for Matt has gone up a lot, lately.

  5. Sad that some condone what happened. Totally desperate and classless move. Is this how you so called “fans” really want to see how a race plays out? Then I feel sorry for Nascar if this is the fans they get. If you can’t see the difference between what happened today and the racing incident at Kansas and what happened at Charlotte..that Matt put himself in that position then you are not a race fan.. a fan of a whiner who has not shut up in the past two weeks. Matt has put a black mark on a sport that most mock. Kenseth needs an mental eval. Jerk. Spin it all you want fans who think they were done wrong last week at Dega and this week. His actions are actions of a coward, he wrecked and wrecked hard, a teenager getting behind the wheel for the first time can do that, at least you can excuse it. No talent to do that..and there was a bigger picture here for all. In plain English whether you idiots see it or not MATT KENSETH CLEARLY MANIPULATED THE OUTCOME OF A RACE. Where is the outrage like at Richmond…crickets and “justification” of course. Most Nascar fans are hypocrites.

    1. This is racing, If you don’t say enough is enough, you get run over, and run over and run over, and run over. Three times in three weeks by Penske teams; enough is enough. If you dont understand that, go to any weekly race track in America on a Fri, or Sat night and learn what the sport is. This is racing, not “Sunday social after church”.

      1. You race like that at Langley and they’ll sit you. Period. So should NA$CAR. Yeah, payback is hell, for both drivers!

    2. Thanks for a level headed reply. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. It’s almost like politics…most NASCAR fans pick a side and then it doesn’t matter what happens afterward. It amazed me how vindictive Matt Kenseth became after the Kansas incident.

    3. Bad deal when your driver gets it, eh? The crickets were heard after Kansas and after Talladega. Matt was the only person in NASCAR who cared about what was going on when it was happening to him, so he did the only thing he could do about it. That is how racing goes, sometimes.

      1. wrecking a competitor when you are 10 laps down and tearing up your car and the leaders care was vengeful and in no way racing. Matt’s head is screwed up. Racing deal at Kansas and Charollte, of his own doing. Too bad some fans it differently because they like or dislike someone. If they looked at it logically, morally and ethically he is and will always been dead wrong.

  6. Matt has sent his message loud & clear, OLD SCHOOL, I will race you like you race me. Logano has had this coming since wrecking Hamlin at california up through his BS pit entry move at ‘Dega, . Logano has been racing like the spoiled brat he is for long enough, never having to own up for his actions; hiding behind his daddy and Penske. Ask yourself why Mark Martin walked away from trying to mentor him???
    Matt made more fans today because NASCAR lost it’s roots and become more about the glamour than than racing,

    1. So being 10 laps down and gunning for the leader is old school and Matt deserves a pat on the back? Don’t think so, classless, cowardly act his grandmother could have done.

  7. Judging by the crowds reaction at Martinsville, those who have lost respect for Matt are in a very small minority.

    1. That’s because most NASCAR fans are stupid. You have not heard one media person (which I might point out includes a lot of former drivers, crew chiefs and others who were actually involved in the sport!) defend or condone what Crazy Matt did….not one! NASCAR needs to send Matt for a psyche evaluation, suspend him for the rest of the season and then send him for another evaluation to see if he’s mentally stable enough to race next season.

      1. Just because one is on the air, doesn’t mean they know what there are talking about, or someone in a booth isn’t whispering in there ear what to say. When Dale Sr crashed at Daytona, every network sent their number 1 guy, and every one of them had something major wrong, One guy said he had the most wins, not true, one guy said he won the most popular award every year, not true, one guy said he had the most championships ever, no he is currently tied, Every one of them had at least one fact most long time fans know, wrong. Just because your on TV doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about. Go racing on a sat night some where, it happens all the time for drivers to gain respect from their competitors.

      2. Nice generalization there regarding intelligence.

        As for those smart people in the media frowning upon Matt, some are hypocrites. Dale Jarrett must have forgotten about how he did the same thing to Ryan Newman a decade ago. Others were hyping the whole payback thing last two weeks only to act apalled once it happened.

        Payback has always happened in NASCAR, and always will. Nothing mentally unstable about it. If Joeys fans are upset I get it, but the ones who are just appalled by what Matt did should probably find a new peaceful way to spend their time like knitting or yoga.

        That was textbook Nascar payback and as a fan I enjoyed seeing it.

  8. Kenseth should be parked for Texas. Period, end of story. Classless, gutless, punk move from a former champion.

  9. I have not heard anyone mention that once Matt got Logano turned, he locked up his brakes. Just watch a replay. It’s easy to see.

    I’m guessing that Kenseth or his lawyer will argue that he was trying to stop, but couldn’t.

    1. Yawn Greggy, you never gave Logano respect, and I am sure he isn’t crying over you. haters gonna hate..and jealousy is a cancer.

  10. Kenseth has always been both the most low-key but cutthroat driver. Still waters run deep, I suppose. And Logano is just an unlikeable weasel. So it was all very entertaining watching millionaires smash other millionaires toys.

  11. More respect for Kenseth than ever. I would have lost respect for him if he hadn’t wrecked Logano.

    Apparently Joey gets a pass with the media for intentionally wrecking people and not owning up to it.

    1. Stop the lying drama..who did he wreck. You people kill me and call your elves fans. Pfft. Batty Matty is playing you people.

  12. Lest we forget the #3/#5 spin at Bristol some years back…one of Earnhardt’s controversial wins. Fans loved it, fans hated it. Same with this. For NASCAR to let Logano do it, and penalize Kenseth, would prove quintessentially that “they” have lost touch with what we, as fans, want. The crowd reaction Sunday says it all.

  13. Those who take issue with Logano spinning Ken Ziss (as Rusty Wallace calls him) for moving a guy that was clearly blocking while going for the race win should never get to utter the phrase “rubbins’ racin'” again.
    And those that argue taking out a leader in front of the whole field while laps down for something that happened weeks ago need to go watch the demo derby at their local county fair and leave professional racing to fans of having actual racing take place.

  14. The only respect he lost with with SOME of the drivers and teams. I don’t think he lost too much respect with the fans and they pay the bills.

    I posted this on face book…

    “I know some will think less of me for this but this is exactly what I needed. I have been board stiff this year with the vanilla drivers and many boring races. Finally we see raw emotion on the track. I am glad no one was hurt. NASCAR asked for this and no matter how they react, they needed this. The fan reaction in the stands backs this up.”

    Followed up with this comment…

    “Matt showed these young drivers there IS an unwritten rule of driver enforcement. This was typical back in the day. And those guy’s would do this in much unsafer cars. Look, NASCAR has these guys so handcuffed, no fighting in pits, no showing displeasure on track, no talking shit about them and basically turned them into Corporate robots. This type of behavior happens every Saturday night at your local short track. If you think the fans don’t like it, you need to visit Bowman Gray. I have been losing interest in the sport I love and again, I am sorry but this type of day is what I miss about racing.”

    1. People are out of their mind with this defense of Matt. When is an incident just racing? Kansas was just racing, but Matt whined for two weeks, Logano is young and is the current whipping boy. Sorry Matt did it to himself. He is playing all of you. So now we compare (for those who understand racing) at Kansas and what Matt did yesterday is duly identical ? Sad fan base BZF is courting.

  15. Love all of these whiny so called press people. How the hell has he lost respect. He is playing by the rules that Nascar set up, the boys have at it rules. They encourage it, but will be so hypocritical like so many other. Maybe Joey should stop running over people, stop running his mouth, and stop having his Daddy fight his battles. He played with fire, got burnt, it is truly that simple.

  16. Lost respect my eye, how about gain respect? You will always harvest what you plant. I was raised old school NASCAR and everybody who remembers stock car racing when it was real, and not as fake as tag-team wrestling, saw this coming. Now, just let them alone to work it out as men. When I see a black eye or two by racers, (and not one of ’em’s Daddy), I’ll know the sport I grew up loving is back. Daddy has no business fighting his son’s battles. If you’re smart enough to get yourself into something, you better be smart enough to get yourself out of it. I don’t root for any of them, but the folks at the next track Kenseth races at, should pay his fine. The ones in the stands – who made NASCAR what it is – certainly get it. Bless Pete, I might throw $20 in a hat to help pay his fine, myself. I’d be saying the same thing if it happened the other way. The ones I lost respect for were Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty for their comments after the race; very disappointing. It is what it is and you let them take care of it. Don’t say, “Boys have at it,” and then expect them to do otherwise. Don’t put (NASCAR) rules in place as on the last lap at Talledega and not expect a driver to use it to his or her advantage.

  17. Matt used to be my favorite driver, but not anymore. Payback is one thing, but this was over the line. Joey bumped into Matt and moved him out of the way, Matt didn’t wreck his car. Not only did Matt turn into Joey but he kept driving through him to make sure he drove him into the wall and destroy his car.

  18. Kenseth was a jerk plain and simple! Look closely at the race where Joey supposedly dumped him. Matt blocked several time he was ecpecting a bump and just lost it. Saying Joey lifted his rear tires off the ground. Look at the from of Joey’s car after the race. not a scratch or dent! fast forward and now Matt laps down, doesm’t just bump a competitor, He intentionally wrecks him. If that was done on a city street it would be called vehicular assault. If NASCART does nothing to Matt, you can forget about real racing, we will have an all out demolition derby. Fon for a few races, but eventually we will all loose interest, Teams will loose sponsers and it’s over. Matt Race like a man and a professional. It’s funny how many times you see Matt in a conflict with someone and it’s always the other guys fault!

    1. Check the data on Kenseth merchandise sales for the past 24 hours. Your Honor, the defense rests. Listen to the fans, NASCAR. They have, and will continue to, show the way forward.

  19. Ok folks here we go. 1st of all you have to understand how Joey and Brad both see things and that is they race to win and if your a casualty of their driving, tough! They are there to win, not show respect or make friends. Now the flip side to that is that if you do something to them then your a coward and any other names the little whiners want to throw out there. This is the immediate list of reasons Matt Kenseth deserved to plow Joey into the wall.
    1. Joey took him out at Kansas, he didn’t MOVE anything. See Jeff Gordon video’s as to how to MOVE someone out of the way.
    2. Joey caused the wreck on the 1st g-w-c restart at Talladega when he brake checked every one and then proceded to whine over the radio when Nascar did not count it as a restart. Who got caught up in that wreck? hummmm
    3. Joey waits till the last second to pit at Dega and slides right in front of Kenseth causing him to bump into Joey. Not usually a big deal unless your at a track that requires such aero dependency.
    4. Joey and Brad are trying to work together at Martinsville to ensure that Joey doesn’t get stuck in the outside lane and in doing so causes a bottle neck down low and takes out Kenseth, Brad and Kurt Busch.
    5. Joey was brake checking everyone on the restarts at Martinsville until finally Nascar come over his radio and told him to quit it.

    The moral of the story here is don’t get butt hurt if the very racers you take out due to your selfish moves on the track come back and take your A$# out when you are at your most vulnerable! He deserved it just like Brad deserved what he got after the race at Texas last year in the pit’s! If you race people like crap then that’s exactly what you will get in return.

  20. So it was ok for Joey to “move” Matt in Kansas when that race meant everything for Matt’s Chase hopes, but not ok for Matt to do the same? If anything, Matt earned more respect than he lost. I expect NASCAR to suspend Matt even though they created the environment that led to this situation. Joey has 2 races to make the championship race in Homestead, so the timing was perfect for Matt to deliver the message.

  21. If Matt had been running second and dumped Joey I would have said that was pay back. But to be running 10 laps down and take out the leader thats just bad sportsmanship.

  22. Doesn’t anyone remember Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett commenting on how smart Joey Logano was dumping Matt Kenseth because he was a strong competitor down the road for the championship. He took Matt out of the picture so it seems fair he took Joey out. Joey could have raced cleanly but he chose to get the win at all costs so now he pays the price.

  23. …yeah Earnhardt wouldn’t have won half as many races as he did without using the bumper….but you never saw him intentionally take out a race leader when he was running laps down. He wasn’t happy to getting what he gave but who

    I’ve been a big fan of Matt since he ran the Lycos car… I’m a big Logano fan now.. it was utterly classes to whine about blocking Logano when he knew the risk of blocking much faster car….NASCAR built an empire on you block me once sham on you block twice shame one me.

  24. Not a record-breaking fourth consecutive win had Logano won. Jimmie Johnson accomplished this in the 2007 Chase (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).

  25. Matt did what needed to be done. Period. NASCAR created this monster with its multilevel elimination chase….AND, judging by the fans reaction at M’ville (I was there), NASCAR has no clue again what its fan base is. I have never seen the crowd all stand up and cheer/applaud like they did with respect to what Kenseth did. THEY knew it was warranted, and I’m damn sure behind closed doors all the drivers knew it was warranted.

  26. We must separate issues resulting from competition and the premeditated willful destruction of a of a competitor’s equipment in this discussion.
    Now that we have decided it’s within the bounds of acceptability for a driver to use personal discretion to eliminate another team from competition at will & without penalty from NASCAR, does this apply across the board? Are we to assume the issuance of a NASCAR license now comes with the privilege of ending the championship hopes of another licensed competitor? Is the driver the only one that can make that decision, or can the crew chief decide to destroy the pit box of another team if he is pissed off at that team’s crew chief? What rights does a third or forth team that may get caught up in someone elses revenge plot, have? Can they now wait on the track and put the original revenge seeker in the wall, all without penalty? Who gets to decide? Can we vote?
    At what point would all this revenge seeking stop? When is permissible for NASCAR to step in and regulate the sport? “Boys have at it” has been defined and redefined by the sanctioning body and was never directed toward laying in wait and attacking a competitor but, as a commitment not to micro manage pure competition that is and should always be a part of NASCAR since it’s beginning.
    Come on fans, think. Use your brains to think beyond one on track instance.

  27. Lost Respect? Yes, I have totally lost Respect for the NASCAR rule makers with this final decision. They will get no more of my money at the tracks. Went to 4 races this year and was going to go to Phoenix. Not going now. I like the drivers, which includes two very talented drivers of Joey and Matt and I like the sport, but Greedy NASCAR and the make rules as you go policy that make no sense, as they look the other way when Joey knocks Matt out of the chase at Kansas and then Kevin knocks Dale Jr. out of the chase at Talladega by crashing half of the field, well, no more of my money for you NASCAR and certainly No Respect!

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