NASCAR chairman Brian France addresses potential Matt Kenseth penalty
NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Tuesday morning that the sanctioning body is still debating what penalties to dole out to Matt Kenseth for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.
A ruling on Kenseth, which could include any or all of a suspension, fines and a points penalty, is expected Tuesday afternoon.
Appearing on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR’s “Morning Drive” show, France said he was very disappointed with Kenseth’s actions at Martinsville. Logano was leading the race on Lap 454, when he was put into the wall by Kenseth, who was nine laps down after being hit by Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, earlier in the race.
"We will have rules of the road that are clear to understand," France said. "We'll get it right.”
Kenseth was angry with Logano for wrecking him going for the win two weeks earlier at Kansas, but France said Kansas and Martinsville were not analogous.
“Late in a race, we expect drivers to take chances to win races,” France told SIRIUS/XM. “They’ve got the skill to do it. We expect them to race hard. We expect blocking is part of this game, as Matt was doing. And contact will happen in NASCAR from time to time. And often in that contact, it isn’t just who gives the contact -- in this case, it was Joey Logano -- but often times both drivers can get caught up in a situation and wreck themselves.”
France said it was “understandable, the disappointment he (Kenseth) had” at Kansas. “… That was an entirely different situation at Martinsville, and we will be dealing with that later on today.”
Although he did not offer specifics, France implied the penalties could be severe.
“What we’re not going to do is take the style of NASCAR and parlay that into something where one driver or another believes the way to pay back somebody for something that happened is take matters into their own hands,” France said. “Obviously, we won’t be accepting that. ... What happened on Sunday, that’s not quite the way that we would have liked to see that turn out.”
France said the sanctioning body will also address Danica Patrick hitting David Gilliland on Sunday.