Richard Petty: NASCAR got it right suspending Matt Kenseth
Richard Petty said Saturday that NASCAR did the right thing in suspending Matt Kenseth for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano two weeks ago at Martinsville Speedway.
Petty, the seven-time NASCAR Premier Series champion and co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, said Kenseth forced NASCAR's hand by flagrantly wrecking Logano. Kenseth put Logano's race-leading Team Penske Ford into the wall in retaliation for Logano spinning him at Kansas and Logano's teammate, Brad Keselowski, wrecking Kenseth earlier in the Martinsville race.
"I think as deliberate as that was it needed to be done. In fact, I think he got out lucky with two races instead of three," Petty said Saturday morning at Phoenix International Raceway.
In his NASCAR Hall of Fame career, Petty had some bitter rivals, most notably Bobby Allison. But Petty said whenever he had incidents with other drivers, he would settle them immediately after the race in which there was a problem.
"I went straight to them and said, 'OK, let's get this crap straight.' The deal was I did it in the heat of the game," said Petty. "As soon as the race was over I'd go find whoever it was and we'd have it out right there. We didn't have all of you (reporters) wandering around, so we could do it behind the truck or in the truck and nobody ever really saw what was going on."
Petty said he wasn't surprised the Kenseth-Logano situation rapidly got out of hand.
"Everybody was anticipating something to happen, but you didn't know what it was going to be," Petty said. "They (NASCAR) couldn't get ahead of that deal. There was no way to get ahead of it.
"That was a deal, the way I looked at it, the Kansas deal is sort of what started it. I think Kenseth kind of put it off to the side, but then when they crashed him coming off the second corner at Martinsville all of that came back and he was just in a corner and he had to get out."