Kenseth, Keselowski still at odds

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Saturday, Oct 18 1794

The Battle of Pit Road may have ended Saturday night, but the war of words is far from over. Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski traded paint on the racetrack during Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- and that was just the beginning.

On pit road after the race, Keselowski drove his No. 2 Team Penske Ford into Kenseth's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after Kenseth had unbuckled his belts and lowered his window net.

Tony Stewart's Chevrolet was inadvertently damaged during the exchange between Keselowski and Kenseth. Stewart backed into Keselowski's car in retaliation, crunching the nose of the Ford.

After Keselowski exited his car and was walking between haulers in the garage, Kenseth jumped him, and the drivers wrestled until crew members and officials intervened.

Noting that he and Keselowski had a similar issue at Richmond in April, Kenseth said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway that he doesn't regret his post-race actions at Charlotte.

"I'm definitely not built for fighting, and it's not really in my genes -- not something I ever really want to do -- but I guess everybody has their breaking point," Kenseth said.

Kenseth thought Keselowski had run him into the wall on a restart with 63 laps left. Keselowski said Kenseth had swerved into him and damaged his car under caution when Kenseth took a wave-around to return to the lead lap.

"Last week was bad enough, to run bad all night and to be frustrated and then get two tires and get towards the front, and Brad clearly saw me roll outside of him and he hung a right on purpose and ran me right into the wall and ruined my night and possibly took us out of Chase contention," Kenseth said.

"So I was mad enough about that, and then to come down afterwards and have your stuff off and your net down and come and pull those high school stunts playing car wars after the race was just absolutely unacceptable. That definitely put me over the edge.

"I don't regret my actions. I'm not proud of them or happy about them or any of that, but I don't regret them. I don't know that I would do anything different if the same thing went down again." And what of the earlier incident under caution. Kenseth says Keselowski's account of damage is overblown.

"Well, Brad is greatly exaggerating that point," Kenseth said. "If you watch video, you can see he had no marks on his right front of his car after that. He said it tore his whole right front off. "I did indeed swerve at him when I took the wave-around, because I was mad he put me in the wall and totally ruined my day, but if you look at his car there is absolutely no damage on it. That was just him greatly exaggerating the story."

Understandably, Keselowski had a different take on the situation.

"He is always entitled to his opinion, as I am to mine," Keselowski said. "We are both entitled to our opinions. Obviously, we have a difference of them, or what happened Saturday wouldn't have happened."

On Tuesday, NASCAR fined Keselowski $50,000 and Stewart $25,000 for the actions with their cars on pit road. Kenseth wasn't penalized for the physical confrontation with Keselowski.

"First of all, it was not a planned action, and I didn't go in there with fists flying or anything else like that," Kenseth said.

Keselowski said of his own fine, "It isn't something that I didn't understand."

And about whether it bothered him that he was fined and Kenseth wasn't, Keselowski added cryptically, "I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I guess in some ways you could, and some ways you couldn't.

"It is what it is. I haven't put that much thought into it."

Kenseth's teammate, Denny Hamlin, wasn't surprised NASCAR chose not to fine Kenseth for the impromptu wrestling match.

"You really can't see any punches or anything (on video of the incident), so, yeah, as far as I'm concerned, they were holding hands," Hamlin quipped.

"We saw from Saturday night, those two aren't fighters."