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Is Payback Possible This Weekend?

Wednesday, Mar 30 1957
Could another payback scenario be brewing? Or will drivers save that for later in the year? With only five races completed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, there have already been some contact made on the asphalt.

While no one wants to see anyone get hurt, there can be scenarios that cause issues on short courses, like Martinsville Speedway, during the heat of battle. With the 500-­lap STP 500 looming in the distance, one of the questions on some people's minds is whether or not on-­track payback is around the corner for a few drivers.

Who hasn't forgotten the ordeal just a few months ago in which Matt Kenseth put the No. 22 driver for Team Penske, Joey Logano while leading, in the fence with approximately 50 laps to go? This rivalry, if you want to call it that, actually started at Kansas a couple weeks earlier when Kenseth, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing driver was leading in the hopes of moving on into the next round of the Chase. However, those hopes were dashed when he got turned by Logano. As a consequence for the Martinsville payback, Kenseth would sit out the next two races at Texas and Phoenix.

Currently, Logano still looks to be the brunt of all on-­track drama. A couple of weeks ago, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Logano and Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. were racing for the fourth position when the No. 22 Toyota driver attempted to pass Truex on lap 151. He was unable to pass and as a result, Truex's car wiggled and bounced off the wall, causing right-­side damage to the No. 78 Chevrolet. Logano did apologize for this incident so we may not see any dramatics here, but you never can tell.

Two drivers that still could be at odds with each other are Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 Kasey Kahne and the No. 10 of Danica Patrick. In only two weeks, both of the two Chevrolet drivers are off to a dismal start. Kahne does have a top-­10 finish earned at Las Vegas. In a wreck that also occured at Fontana, Patrick tried to overtake Kahne on the frontstretch, but resulted in contact with the No. 5's left-­front fender.

After the race, Kahne and his crew chief Keith Rodden were called to the NASCAR hauler. Kahne was also apologetic in his post-­race comments. Patrick was fined $20,000 for going onto a 'hot' track. The rule was adopted after the Kevin Ward Jr./Tony Stewart incident in August of 2014 that a driver is to remain inside or close to his wrecked machine until safety officials arrive.

While all four drivers involved seem apologetic and no issues may be on the table, could race fans still see something coming? Or will they be totally surprised by another drama in the making? Stay tuned!
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Katie Williams

Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.

I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.

While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.

I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.

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