Race Weekend Central

Kickin’ the Tires: Joey Logano Dumped Matt Kenseth Out of Fear

KANSAS CITY, Ka. – The fact Joey Logano dumped Matt Kenseth with five laps to go in the Hollywood Casino 400 proves Logano is afraid of what the Toyota driver is capable of and that he wanted to do all he could to ensure they wouldn’t battle each other in the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Whether you agree with that assessment or not, it’s no secret Kenseth is a powerhouse driver and can put together a string of wins. Taking him out of the equation is part of what makes the Chase (or is that #theChase) so intriguing, because like it, or not, what happened Sunday is part of the overall strategy to win the title.

Do I agree with crashing (spinning) another driver to win? Not really. It would have been much better to have the two of them battle it out side-by-side on the final lap than to see Kenseth, or any driver, spinning off someone else’s bumper.

Yes, Logano was fast, but was he fast enough to get around Kenseth without slamming into him and lifting his rear wheels off the track? To hear Logano tell the story, the answer is, “yes.” So, why did he do it? There were five laps left and if he was really the fastest car then wouldn’t that have played out with him in the lead?

Of course, critics of the Chase will say there was too much aero push for Logano to get around Kenseth, and the racecars are horrible, or give some other excuse why the racing is terrible. And, just like I have pointed out in the past, in my opinion, they would be wrong.

Logano is a good driver, but he isn’t as good as Kenseth, who happens to be a former Sprint Cup Series champion. Oh yeah, he was a champion under the old, old, set of NASCAR rules that so many people claim to adore. Yet, when Kenseth won the title with only one win in 2003, so many people complained about it that NASCAR invented the oft-criticized Chase.

This year may be one of the last years that Kenseth could have brought home his second Sprint Cup Series championship, but Logano’s antics have made that a difficult, if not, impossible task. So, next week at Talladega, if Kenseth doesn’t win the race to advance to the next round, it’s a good bet Logano will be spinning off someone’s bumper before the final race of the season.

About the author

Jerry Jordan, is a two-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) award-winning writer covering the world of NASCAR. He is the founder, editor and radio host of Kickin' the Tires, which is a motorsports media outlet focusing primarily on NASCAR.
The goal is to bring visitors a behind-the-scenes look at what's happening in the sport of NASCAR through the printed word, in pictures and with audio from the who's who of NASCAR.
Each week, Jordan's award-winning Kickin' the Tires syndicated column is featured first at Frontstretch.com, and then published in print publications covering Southeast Texas and on the Kickin' the Tires Web site.

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Oh Jesus H. Christmas. Nothing has changed with Jerry’s articles. This one takes one of the many cakes. Whatev’s Jerry baby!!!!! Lol. SMH.


i beg to differ. this is not an “article.”
it’s a speculative blog post at best.. more like a really long biased tweet from a troll.


you are correct sir.


I must say Jerry, I saw you on the PRN live cast this week at Charlotte .and you were annoying there. Thank God for the other hosts, you seemed to pontificate. And what exactly is your area of expertise? Very smug, as it certainly doesn’t look like you ever strapped into a race car. Just saying. I laughed when I realized who was in the studio…lol. Yup an eye opener, but not really.


..and what “crash”? I did not see Saint Matt’s car hit the wall and wreck, I saw a saved spin..maybe something was wrong with my Tv.


I don’t understand what the big deal is with Logano bump drafting Kenseth. As kb said, Kenseth didn’t slam into the wall or was totally wrecked either. This is just what NASCAR ordered for the chase races – win at any cost. No driver goes out on the track with the mentality that he is going to lay down for any driver. Any driver in Joey’s position would have done the same and they’re lying if they say they wouldn’t.


Not a huge fan of either driver, but lets say thee 22 goes around at Homestead off the front bumper of the 20. one drawback to the chase final being 1 race, winner take all.

Bill B

Fear or common sense? Seems to me the latter.

BTW, I may have remembered some bringing up the fact that Matt won the championship only winning one race but I don’t remember wide scale and prolonged complaining about it. And I definitely don’t remember anyone asking for the chase to remedy the situation. At the time it seemed that many were just asking for the race winner to be awarded significantly more points (maybe 25) than the second place driver to make wins a little more important when tallying the season long points.

Tucker White

It’s not entirely accurate that nobody asked for The Chase. Bill France Jr. and other NASCAR executives had been researching ways to put more emphasis on winning going back to 2000. While Brian France was the brainchild of what became The Chase, it wasn’t something they came up with overnight.

Bill B

Point is that fans weren’t asking for the chase. Who knows what was going on in the minds of the money chasing idiots in charge.
My memory is that the whole chase concept blinded the fan base and most people’s reaction was WTF?

Bill B

That should be “blind sided the fan base” not “blinded”.


And now Brian has said he’d be OK with a “champion” who didn’t win a race.


Benny Parsons lobbied hard for it during NBC’s race coverage for most of the second half of the 2003 season when it was obvious Kenseth was going to be the champ in a runaway.

Bill B

Hmmm, I don’t remember that but I find it highly ironic given the fact that the year that Benny won his one championship he also did it by only winning one race while David Pearson won 11 races. Seems kind of stupid for Benny to lead that charge (I’m not saying he didn’t, I just don’t remember) because it pretty much would undermine the legitimacy of his own championship.

Bill B

BTW, at the end of the 2003 season the first time I ever heard of the concept of a “chase format” was when Jimmy Spencer mentioned it on whatever tv spot he was doing at the time. People thought he was demented. Then a few weeks later the official announcement came out and then speculation was that NASCAR used Spencer to get fans used to the idea before the hammer fell so that the shock would be somewhat diminished.


Are you the same Tucker White who wrote an article on another racing website last Thursday, who basically told fans who hated the chase to get over it and leave? Judging by the declining attendance and almost non-existent TV ratings, I’d say a lot of fans have taken your advice.


I saw that too, what a bunch of garbage. I figured with the name Tucker White the idiot had to be about 15. Lol.

Bill B

I don’t know if he is but that article was hilarious wasn’t it? Too bad he was serious.


Oh, one more point, Mr. White, and Mr. Jordan too, if you both can pull your heads out of you biased behinds, go back and look at the stats for that dreaded 2003 season and Kenseth vs. Newman. Yes, Kenseth had one win vs. Newman’s eight, and Kenseth had 11 top-5’s vs. Newman’s 17. Where the difference was, was in bad finishes. Kenseth only had three finishes of 33rd or worse. Newman had 7 finishes of 37th or worse. Newman was 311-points behind Kenseth. What people were saying back then was that more points should be given to race winners, not come up with the B.S. system they did. Even giving the race winner 25-points extra, which someone mentioned, Newman would still have been 136-points back! Still, as pointed out, it was only the media who called for something like the chase, and I’m not so sure if it was because the media didn’t like Kenseth, or his car owner, or the brand of car he drove. Maybe it was a combination of all three! which was it for you?


Right on Ken.

J. Smith

I liked the crapshoot drama and will continue to watch the chase at the expense of the regular season. I hope Earnhart, Busch (either or), Harvick and Kenseth will be eliminated and get in a fight in their underwear at Talladega. I actually watched a little pre and post race for the first time this year which reminded me… leave those damn babies at home. Jerry, you failed to mention the other controversy as big or bigger as the bump and run. Logano clearly jumped the GWC restart. Indisputable fact it is. NASCAR is still impudent in enforcement of some rules. I would take the win away from him and “Punch Hamlin’s Ticket”.


2003 Jerry, does no one fact check these rants?

Carl D.

Funny how Jordan talks about how great the chase is but has a problem with the fireworks that come with winning at all costs. And spinning a blocking car is dirty but blocking a faster car is acceptable.

Stock car racing is not for those with delicate sensibilities. Some sports writers are more suited for covering bowling.


Maybe volleyball. Don’t spike it so hard!!!

william floyd

bowling lol this sports writer is for sure. Maybe Jordan should go back and watch one more time, or twenty if it takes him that long to figure it out. Matt was flat out blocking at least a half dozen times, down on the apron, up to the wall where his block of Joey caused Joey to hit the wall and Joey finally said enough is enough. if that had been Tony or Harvick the n Matt would have been punted way sooner by his blocking. Ol Man Earnhardt punted more people on purpose in his career, most of the time because he just liked too, yet this writer and others act like he was king of the track and the greatest of all time. Media should go back to knitting like Jordan does in his spare time.


Selective memory must be a wonderful thing. It wasn’t the fans that were up in arms about Matt’s one win title, it was the media…many of whom had very little experience with racing. More points for winning is what I remember being the majority suggestion. Since there’s a very real possibility that a team with NO wins could win the ‘champeenship’, I wouldn’t say this format has changed much in that area, other than making drivers more desperate. Not the solution most were looking for, but BZF’s way of trying to ‘footballize’ racing.

Phil H

a driver is blocking your progression past him. he is slower, you are clearly faster,this is a race to win, he blocks and blocks. As simple as a door you are getting out of, you push it out of your way.


You block, you pay the price. That looked like hard racing to me. Logano could have checked up, but it was going to be tough to get around Kenseth because of aero. Isn’t this the type of action we want? I was just happy to see a real late battle for the win instead of Kenseth running away and hiding. I’m really looking forward to going to Martinsville now.

Looking back at 2003, didn’t Roger Penske get on his soapbox when Newman won 8 races as still lost to Kenseth? I wish Sirius NASCAR Radio would do a throwback to shows in 2003, I’m sure a ton of fans called up to complain about Kenseth and another run away championship.

Bill B

Just for the record, I don’t disagree but no fans were calling for the chase. They just wanted more points awarded for a win so that wins were weighted a little heavier in the consistency driven championship.


Wow Jerry, can you ever write a column without being so biased toward some driver? First, there is a difference between “wrecking” and “spinning”. Go learn the difference! Logano didn’t “wreck” Kenseth. There was contact that causes Matt to “spin”. Had Logano wrecked Kenseth, Matt’s race would have ended right then and there, and most likely, so would Joey’s race have ended. Second, there was a difference about the contact. Logano didn’t “slam” Kenseth. That would have also most likely ended the day for both of them! Geez Jerry, how many races have you actually been to?

As for your love of the chase, I guess you must be singing praise to the high heavens about this year! After all, if it was a 36-race championship, Logano would be leading second place Harvick by 32-points, and third place Keselowski by 116-points. Oh the horror of the 22 team working hard all year and having them secure the title before Homestead! As it is right now, a winless driver (Newman or Gordon) can still win the championship. Or, how about someone who missed 11 races because of his ego, and would be, in reality, in twenty-second place, nearly 500-points back! Oh ya, there is a legitimate champion!

Hey Jerry, A Mr. Tucker White wrote a column last Thursday telling fans who hate the chase to get over it and leave. From what I can see, many have! You need to acknowledge that the chase has alienated a lot of fans. And remember this: Larry McReynolds favorite line has been, “you need NASCAR more than NASCAR needs you” Well, the truth is, NASCAR needs the fans more than the fans need NASCAR, and if NASCAR doesn’t smarten up, and do it soon, the sport will die a rapid, painful death. And when that happens, writers like you who constantly bad-mouth fans, will be to blame!


Brian Vickers was spewing garbage (Brian Vickers of all people) using the word “wreck” constantly on V-Lane last night. Facts be damned, if it sounds villainous so what! Even better!


For the record I actually like both Kenseth and Logano. But for the life of me I can’t understand anyone finding fault with Joey here. You say he had the fastest car (and he clearly did), and that he would have won anyway…you can’t exactly pass someone when every single time you try you are getting cut off, pinched, and ultimately put into the wall. You block once, thats fair, twice and you are pushing it. After Kenseth ran Joey up the entire length of the track and essentially tried to “dump” him by pushing him into the wall (after numerous other blocking attempts) how can you find fault at Joey for saying enough is enough. It is a drivers job to do what he can to eliminate the competition if they can. I have been amazed by the number of fans I have heard say, “Joey was already in why didn’t he just let him have it?” Seriously? That isn’t racing. Cup races are not easy to win. He did not owe him anything. After watching the way Kenseth was blocking (and I understand why he was) I just cannot understand why this one was a no-brainer.


last line should have said I can’t understand why this one was not a no-brainer


Did’nt it used to be nudge em up the track and pass them and keep racing? Today’s drivers seem to just go for the kill.

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