Last week as Martinsville Speedway, Matt Kenseth exacted his revenge on Joey Logano because he didn’t like how Logano was racing him the last few weeks (or longer). NASCAR has decided to come down hard in their penalties for Kenseth’s actions on the track.
“Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver (Kenseth), who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver (Logano), a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race. Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR.”
NASCAR has penalized Matt Kenseth hard. Kenseth has been given a two race suspension meaning he will miss this week’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and the next week at Phoenix International Raceway. He is also on probation for the next six months. There were no monetary fines or loss of points because the result of missing two races far exceeds any monetary fine or loss of points.
“These actions have no place in NASCAR.” Steve O’Donnell is right. Racing for a win or even a position on the track, getting together and perhaps wrecking is one thing. As Brian France the Chairman of NASCAR said “That’s quintessential NASCAR.” Hunting down a driver only to extract revenge is another.
NASCAR has spoken. “Boys , have at it!” has a limit attached. Racing hard for position while bumping and banging with perhaps wrecking is acceptable and encouraged. Going out and intentionally wrecking someone is not.
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