In case you missed it, Matt Kenseth said he has no regrets over wrecking Joey Logano.
In an interview with Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota said he had no choice but to take out Logano with 47 laps to go in the Nov. 1 Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway. He danced around stating that it was intentional at the time.
He also said that while he would have handled the wreck differently had he known he would be handed a two-race suspension, he would do it all over again.
“I really stand by my actions,” he said. “I feel like there’s a breaking point. It wasn’t just about being mad, it was about getting this fixed. It was time to make it stop.”
This all stems from Logano spinning Kenseth with five laps to go in the Oct. 18 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Kenseth said that a driver has “to have respect in the garage area. If you are going to go out and try to race for wins and race for championships, you can’t be a doormat or next year you are going to get knocked out again. Drivers are going to be like, ‘Well, he ain’t going to do nothing. We’ll just knock him out of the race and then jack with him as much as possible and make sure he’s not going to make it through because he’s not going to retaliate.’ At some point, in my opinion, you have to retaliate.”
Kenseth said that Logano has nobody to blame but himself for the 63-point hole he finds himself in going into Sunday’s race that he must win in order to advance to Homestead. He said that the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford could have resolved the matter before it came to a head at Martinsville.
He felt that Logano was “arrogant” with his comments in the days following the race at Kansas and his brake-checking when both of them were slowing down onto pit road in the Oct. 25 CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kenseth said that final straw was what he felt was being taken out intentionally by Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski with 66 laps to go at Martinsville Speedway.
“There’s a right and wrong way to do things, and most grown-ups would have tried to handle it better,” Kenseth said. “There’s just dozens of things that could have stopped it, and Joey never tried to reconcile it. I think everyone in the garage knew it was coming, and you would think (Logano) would be a little bit nervous and address it.”
Kenseth took issue with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France calling Logano’s actions at Kansas “quintessential NASCAR.”
He added that he “felt like I was almost encouraged. I felt like the comments almost condoned it, the way Brian France said Joey was smart in the way he strategically eliminated a threat for the title,” Kenseth said. “I just never dreamed, ever, that I’d get suspended for going back and evening the score.”
With his suspension ending upon conclusion of tomorrow’s race at Phoenix, Kenseth said that what happened wasn’t “going to change how I race, I’m going to be more fired up, probably less tolerant, and I’m planning on from here on out being a lot more aggressive. I feel like sometimes I try too hard and I need to just let it be, there are some people who are just not going to like me.”
He concluded the interview by saying whether it’s “Joey or Brad or whoever the guy is in that spot, they need to think about that before they lift your rear tires off the ground at 200 mph and take you out. I think Joey is going to think about that the next time. He may do the same thing, but he’ll think about that one way or another, we’re going to even the score.”