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Matt Kenseth meets with Joey Logano prior to NASCAR return
Joe Gibbs Racing driver returned from two-race suspension Friday
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USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Gluck breaks down the NASCAR season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. USA TODAY Sports
HOMESTEAD, Fla. â Is the feud over?
Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano sat down together at NASCAR’s request Friday, an official with the sanctioning body confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The meeting first was reported by the Associated Press.
Earlier Friday morning, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France would not disclose details of his meeting with Kenseth earlier in the week, but did say he would have brought the drivers together if he realized what Kenseth was going to do.
“I wanted to make sure that that matter was behind us with Matt, with Joe Gibbs and so on,” France said. “I’m assured that it is. We had a good conversation about what had happened.”
France would not reveal specifics about the meeting.
The feud began when Logano wrecked Kenseth at Kansas Speedway while racing for a win, effectively ending Kenseth’s shot at advancing to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Kenseth stewed and waited on an apology from Logano, which never came.
“If I would have thought that would have helped, we would have definitely sat them down,” France said Friday. “We didn’t think anything of it at that point. What was said afterward and done at Talladega (the next week)Â and all that, that sort of happened and we didn’t think anything of it. Frankly, as I said, it was a quintessential thing that happens in NASCAR. I said it was a very smart decision or move that strategy wise that Joey did to take a six-time winner and the hottest team in NASCAR and put him on the outside of the Chase looking in. But maybe (Kenseth) misunderstood that.”
Two weeks later at Martinsville Speedway, with Logano leading the race, Kenseth intentionally wrecked him into the outside wall, ending his shot of making the next round.
NASCAR benched Kenseth for an unprecedented two races for actions on-track during a Cup event. The suspension was upheld on appeal and final appeal, although his probation was reduced and will end Dec. 31.
On Friday, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 2003 titlist was back with his team and in his element.
“I think everything will be fine there,” Kenseth told the Associated Press. “I mean, I wish none of it had happened, obviously. There’s probably certain things we’ll never agree on, but I think long-term it will be fine and we’ll work it out.”
While Kenseth would not reveal specifics about his sit-down with France, he told AP: “It’s always nice to get face time with somebody and understand their point of view and have them understand yours.”
After qualifying second for Sunday’s race, Logano quipped during his news conference: âWe havenât had enough of this yet?â he laughed.
âIt was good. NASCAR had us sit down and talk it out a little bit and I thought that was good for us to do.â