NASCAR’s Brian France on Matt Kenseth’s move: ‘We don’t want that to happen again’ – USA TODAY
NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France indicated a harsh penalty could be in store for Matt Kenseth when officials release their decision later Tuesday.
France, appearing on Sirius/XM Radio, said Kenseth went too far in intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway as payback for an incident at Kansas Speedway last month.
The crash prevented Logano, who was leading Sundayâs race, from winning the event and clinching a spot in the Nov. 22Â championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
âWe donât want that to happen again,â France said. âWe donât want any of our events to be altered in a way they shouldnât be.
âWhat we want to prevent happening is drivers or any participant in NASCAR to take matters into their own hands and begin to control the outcome of races beyond hard racing. When that happens, thatâs a very serious thing for us. And weâll be dealing with that.â
Asked specifically about a possible suspension for Kenseth, France said all options were on the table and indicated some penalty could also be issued to Danica Patrick after she intentionally crashed into David Gilliland.
But the Kenseth wreck was particularly egregious given its effect on both Loganoâs race and title hopes. France said Martinsville was much different than the racing incident between Logano and Kenseth at Kansas, which he had termed “quintessential NASCAR.”
VIDEO: Brian France on Matt Kenseth’s move
âThat was an entirely different situation,â he said. âWhat weâre not going to do is take the style of NASCAR and parlay that into something where one driver believes the way to pay back somebody for something that happened is take matters into their own hands. Obviously, we wonât be accepting that.
âThe way to pay drivers back is to race them hard. Thatâs NASCAR. But what happened on Sunday is not quite the way weâd like things to turn out.â
France said he sympathized with Kenseth for being in a disappointing situation after getting âthe short end of the stickâ in the Kansas incident, but that still didnât excuse his actions at Martinsville. NASCAR racing has always had some contact, France said, but thereâs a âbright lineâ between whatâs acceptable and going too far.
âThere are always limits, right?â France said when asked about NASCARâs âBoys have at itâ policy. ââ¦ When those limits are exceeded, you can expect weâll deal with that.
âThe drivers know those limits. They know. They understand whatâs hard racing, taking chances, a little bit of contact â and they realize when they do something thatâs way over the line. They may not say it, but they understand it â and we certainly do.â
Follow Gluck on Twitter @jeff_gluck
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