Joey Logano believes he did the right thing when he turned Matt Kenseth at Kansas Speedway in the fifth race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
For his part, Kenseth says he won’t change the way he races, despite a two-event suspension he incurred for dumping Logano last Sunday at Martinsville, a clear case of retaliation for the incident at Kansas, where the drivers were racing for the win in the closing laps.
“I’m confident in the decisions that we’ve made,” Logano said on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET on NBC).
“I’m confident in the decisions I made as a driver and the decisions we made as a team. That was a racing thing what happened at Kansas… I thought about it, and it’s a decision you make and you think about how you handle every situation and that is not the way you want to see a race end in Kansas that day.
“You want to battle it out all the way to the end. You don’t want to see that happen but when I looked at it, the more I looked at it, it was just a racing thing. It just happened. It was unfortunate, but I would understand if it happened to me. Like I have been saying, he was racing for the win and doing what he had to do and knew the chances and risk he was taking, I would assume. From my point of view, I would, if I was driving the car.”
Right or not, Logano’s actions at Kansas were not without consequences. After a wreck that left him out of contention at Martinsville, Kenseth turned the tables, driving Logano into the Turn 1 wall and putting his chances of advancing to the Chase’s Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway in dire jeopardy.
On Tuesday, NASCAR suspended Kenseth for two races, a penalty that was appealed twice by Joe Gibbs Racing and upheld each time. In a statement, however, Kenseth wasn’t apologetic.
“I’m not going to change who I am,” Kenseth. “I’m not going to change what I stand for. I’m not going to change how I race. I’ve been in this business a long time, and I feel like I’ve had a pretty good career to this point, and I feel like I’m going to continue to have the respect on the racetrack that I feel like I deserve.
“So I'm looking forward to going to Homestead (after serving the suspension) and hopefully going there to get a win before the year's out.”