Motor sport

Joey Logano And Matt Kenseth, Matt Kenseth Wrecks Joey Logano At Martinsville


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Joey Logano still doesn”t believe he did anything wrong when he wrecked Matt Kenseth to win last year”s Chase race at Kansas Speedway.

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But Logano does admit to making one big mistake that contributed to the feud that erupted between the two championship contenders.

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“In all honesty, what would I have done differently, I would have picked up the phone and maybe we would have disagreed and nothing would have changed, but at least it”s a call,” Logano said Tuesday. “I didn”t know what I was going to say and I didn”t think it was anything he wanted to hear. If I were to change one that, that would be it.”

Kenseth and Logano were racing for the lead in the fifth race of the Chase when Logano got into Kenseth and sent him spinning. Logano won his second consecutive race and Kenseth finished 14th. A win would have allowed Kenseth to automatically advance to the third round of the Chase. Instead, he was eliminated when he was involved in a crash and finished 26th the following week at Talladega.

Kenseth got even the next week at Martinsville when he intentionally wrecked Logano — a move that wound up knocking Logano out of the Chase and leading to a two-race suspension for Kenseth.

Though Kenseth and Logano still disagree over the incident at Kansas, the thing that bothered Kenseth most was that Logano never contacted him to explain his side or to smooth things over. The two never talked about the incidents until NASCAR got the drivers together before the season finale at Homestead.

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Drivers often reach out to other drivers when they are involved in a crash that leads to a dispute or a disagreement over what happened. Logano refused to call Kenseth at the time, but says now that not calling was a mistake.

“You look back at it. A racing incident is a racing incident. We are going to have our two different sides on that, and it is what it is,” Logano said Tuesday during a media session in advance of this week”s Chase race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I thought we were racing and things happen sometimes when you are racing that close for a victory. I get his frustration, and I hope he understood my side, which he didn”t.

“I thought at the time, I”m going to call him and he”s going to be more mad at me, I could make this worse. But looking back at it, it never hurts to call and communicate. Over-communicating is a good thing. It lets you know where you are at. There are little things like that maybe I would have handled differently.”

Matt Kenseth retaliates against Joey Logano at Martinsville. (Getty Images)

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Kenseth is fourth and Logano fifth in the current Chase standings as Round 2 begins Saturday (weather permitting) at Charlotte. Logano won three consecutive races in last year”s Chase, starting at Charlotte, and was leading at Martinsville when Kenseth wrecked him.

Logano, who has had run-ins with several drivers during his career, says he learned a valuable lesson from his feud with Kenseth. He admits he used to see no value in reaching out to drivers after a wreck or confrontation.

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“That was my attitude before, “Hey, I”m here to race and I”m here to win, and I don”t really care if someone doesn”t like me,” ” he said. “And now, it”s been fun to kind of build those relationships up and create those friendships with a lot of different drivers. And it”s easier now, because a lot of guys coming up are my age so there”s a lot we have in common with them.”

Logano, 26, said he puts that practice to use often now.

“I over-communicate more, which is good or bad,” he said. “If someone gave me extra room on the racetrack one day, I make sure they know, “thank you,” and I want to return that favor. And I think that is just as important as when things go bad, if you have built those relationships up. I think that”s something that I was a little weak at and I feel like I”ve gotten better at this year.”

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