Race Weekend Central

Up To Speed: Kenseth v. Logano Apparently Isn’t Over

This rivalry just won’t die.

Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano once again left the race perturbed, annoyed and overall exasperated with one another after a long day in the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. With about 15 laps to go, Logano and Kenseth were both running in or near the top five (the shuffling of positions is a constant at this track). Both drivers had been running near the bottom of the race track.

With about 15 laps left, Kenseth was running right behind Logano. While on the backstretch, Logano left the bottom open and Kenseth went to make a move. The driver of the No. 22 car threw a block about one second too late, and the left rear of Logano’s Ford and the right front of Kenseth’s No. 20 car just ever so slightly touched.

To avoid a wreck, Kenseth moved even further to the bottom past the double yellow line and Logano halted his move to the left, too. Logano let Kenseth back in line, gave Kenseth the position, and further catastrophe was avoided. Kenseth did not incur a penalty as it was pretty obvious he was forced below the yellow line and, again, the No. 22 gave him the position.

You would think this would be no harm no foul. While Logano obviously didn’t block very effectively, he essentially “made it right” by allowing Kenseth to come back in line and take the position. One would think it was just one of those restrictor plate racing incidents. No harm, no foul, we move on.

Of course, anyone who knows the history between Kenseth and Logano knew it probably wasn’t going to end there.

Both Logano and Kenseth were further back in the pack than they had been before this – again, in the grand scheme of things – relatively minor incident. Just a few laps later, Kenseth and Logano were still racing for position on the inside. To their outside, Michael McDowell got into the back of Danica Patrick (McDowell says he was hit from behind as well). Patrick spun down to the inside and caught Kenseth as well.

Both Kenseth and Patrick spun down onto the apron on the backstretch. Patrick hit the wall and Kenseth got airborne, landing on his roof at the backstretch inside wall before his car finally flipped back over onto its wheels. Both drivers sore and bruised, but otherwise were unharmed.

Since Logano was right behind Kenseth when this happened, he sustained heavy damage as well.

After the race, Logano was released from the infield care center first and was waiting outside of the building to do a television interview. When Kenseth walked out, he stopped and had a short, somewhat heated conversation with Logano. Logano seemed to blow off with what Kenseth was saying and there was some finger-pointing on the part of Kenseth before he finally walked away. The whole conversation – if you could even call it that – couldn’t have lasted more than 10 seconds.

While Kenseth didn’t blame Logano for the incident that ended his race, he did seem to be blaming Logano for putting them both in that position in the first place.

“We got behind a little bit there and I went to pass the 22 (Joey Logano) and he ran me off the race track and lost four or five spots and then got us back there where we didn’t want to be,” Kenseth said. “I don’t know, somebody must have gotten turned out of the top lane and just collected me. I was just going straight and saw a car come from the right side and cleaned our clock.”

When Logano was asked what Kenseth said to him, he responded with, “Not much.”

“It’s unfortunate,” he continued. “We had a pretty decent car.  I wouldn’t say it was the fastest car out there.  It took us all day to get towards the front, but we positioned ourselves well at the end there with around 20 to go up there in the front row and in the lead. We worked hard all day, but unfortunately didn’t end up as well as we’d like to two days in a row.  A couple big hits, so I can’t wait to get out of this place.”

Ironically enough, this feud began at Kansas Speedway last fall, the site of this coming weekend’s race on Saturday night. Logano spun Kenseth out for the win with just a handful of laps remaining in the fall race, and went on to take the victory while Kenseth had to settle for 14th.

Of course, we all remember what happened after that. The two had issues again at Talladega the week after. Then, in Martinsville, Kenseth was caught up in a wreck with Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski, who wound up winning last weekend’s race at Talladega, FYI, going several laps down while repairing the damage behind the wall. When he came back out onto the racetrack, Logano was leading the race when he passed the now several-laps-down slower Kenseth.

Then, this happened:

It’s probably the most played clip from 2015, and maybe the most played clip in NASCAR over the past several years. Kenseth exacted payback in a big way. This ultimately drew an end to Logano’s run for the championship as he was unable to get back to victory lane before that particular Chase round came to a close and the points deficit was too steep to overcome.

Now, here we come back around to Talladega and Kansas and the two are back under each other’s skin.

That’s not to say that they have been buddies this season. Both drivers have raced each other several times this season. While they’ve raced each other extremely hard, and not given one another very much room, their various battles for position have ultimately gone without incident.

At the same time, this may be a good thing for the sport. Fans love some good rivalries and Logano certainly seems to be the villain in this particular saga – again, even though he ultimately tried to right his wrong this time around.

Regardless, Kenseth was still (understandably) aggravated with how his race ended up, especially considering that his season has seen race win after race win slip away from him because of incidents not of his own doing.

You would have thought Logano’s letting Kenseth back in line after their brief contact would have been a display of maturity and respect between the two, but if you watch Logano’s expressions and body language when Kenseth begins speaking to him, he pretty much blows Kenseth off. That likely irritated Kenseth a lot more than an apology or admission of wrong on Logano’s part would have. Heck, even an explanation would have helped.

Granted, the video of the exchange is limited to observation only as there really wasn’t any clear audio. However, it certainly didn’t look like Logano gave Kenseth the time of day when Kenseth left the care center and tried to have the conversation.

However, it appears that the final chapter to this story has not been written and likely will continue on for a long time. If Kenseth and Logano are fighting for the win at the end of the race next weekend (or at any race anytime in the near future), you might want to hold your breath and wait for the fireworks. “Racing with respect” certainly doesn’t seem to be a concept either of these two are willing to adhere to right now or anytime soon. At least not with each other.

About the author

Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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Much ado about nothing…BLOW IT UP!!

As it was last year, Logano was unfazed and seemed equally unfazed by the latest rant. It seems Logano is in Matt’s head and will soon be hearing voices. And lord knows what the loon will do next, because of his imaginary perceived slights rather than racing deals. Maybe it is time to retire, to put the blame on Logano for a racing deal at Dega laps later at the largest track on the circuit when another car hit Danica who hit him and took out Logano as well, is just patently absurd. The world is mad. Some should run along and coddle the 44 year old baby. Erik Jones is awaitin’ in the wings, so he is talking trash about Logano. I have never heard something like that out of a drivers mouth. Call me crazy, I just have not. But for the record, I feel all of plate racing is nuts, and sucks.


And why should Logano do a “respect” thing for Matt? He trashed him on national TV, blamed him for getting smacked, etc. At this point in Logano’s career, should he have to kowtow and play the submissive newbie to the over 40 crowd? Again always the perceived wrong doing and the expected butt kissing regarding Logano.

Summer you said it yourself he let him back in line and the race moved on. What more was he supposed to do? How would he anticipate that laps later Kenseth would in essence be blaming him for the crash. You guys made a big deal out of the racing between Carl and Kyle, a racing deal. Carl doesn’t owe Kyle do-do. I see no other driver putting blame on their day…Oh wait another baby Kevin Harvick (a new height of hypocrisy was reached today) regarding Landon C. at Dega no less. What nerve! I dunno, this stuff is tired, unimaginative, petty and wrong. Everybody was racing, plate racing, what sayeth you “journalists” or whatever you call yourselves about the 100 other “incidents” that happened this race and you are all silent on? Oh yeah, those are “just racing”, and THEY ARE! Matty opens his lying mouth and it’s news and truth. Damn…..played like suckers.

You all fell for his “I had a tire go down” routine when he rammed Logano 11 laps down. The video clearly showed no issue with tires. And he said durning the media week of 2016, “he should have lied a little better”, or something like that. There you go….


Agree with you 100% kb. Kenseth is just a whining, crying baby. Get over it Matt and move on. At least Joey has grown up enough to know when to just walk away.

Bill B

If you ask me, given how awesome both were running last year before Martinsville, it seems that this feud has messed with both their minds and is still affecting their performance. Neither of them have been setting the world on fire this year. I think it’s a distraction.


My opinion is they just flat out do not have the speed. Logano qualifies well, then sinks like a rock, same with Brad, yesterday being the exception. Something is off with their program thus far. Pit road mistakes ain’t helping much either.

Bill B

Well, I won’t disagree with your observation because there is a lot of truth to it. But another observation is that all the other Gibbs drivers have won (18 and 19 twice) and Kesolowski has won twice, so why are Matt and Joey not contending more?


Bill, Brad has not “dominated” the way Joey did last year. Brad has two wins, yeah he did o.k. yesterday. But it is Dega. His other win was not dominate. It was a win, but it does not tell me that the 2 and 22’s program are back on track. Every week they keep talking lack of speed, Speed is the name of the game, and Roush/Yates ain’t giving it to them for whatever reason. Logano has one or two pit road errors HE caused, his pit crew another story. Matt has had bad luck, but it his usual crash into the wall that has been his issue. It is obvious Logano is in his head, blaming him in a very vocal embarrassing forum that it was Logano’s fault that Annett clipped Danica and that took out him and Logano. My observation. Logano won Daytona last year, it took him some time to win again, then he was on a roll. It will not happen this year until pit road issues with the crew are handled and Roush/Yates step it up. The breakaway speed, consistent speed is not there. It is just not there. Same with lower series package. No matter who is driving that car, it ain’t got the speed. And Jeremy Bullins moved to work with the Wood Brothers, that is a loss. However the same engineers are still there. Hopefully something will click and soon. Logano publicly has never said a word, to his credit. Matt on the other hand has diarrhea of the mouth. He see’s Loganos face in the freezer section when he goes to the store. Lol.

Carl D.

Pit road mistakes have hurt Brad for sure. He must have more pit road speeding penalties than any other driver.


I was a long time fan of Kenseth, I am no longer. He has lost any respect I may have had after last year and taking out Logano. It was a huge coward move from my perspective having driven short track for years. He is looking to blame everyone else for his short comings this year, and has become quite the wining baby. Maybe it is time for him to move on, support his sons career and get out of driving altogether.

As far as the media, you should be printing the facts, not stirring the pot and promoting a “Feud”. I dont think Logano needed to say anything to Kenseth and did the right think by looking away. Yes he blew a block and pushed Kenseth down, but did the right thing and let him back in giving him the position. To blame Logano for thing that happened after is a cry baby move.


This looks like the rivalry we have been waiting for. Usually, when two drivers have a dust up there is a little bit of payback, then it all settles down. Not apparently between Matt and Joey. These guys really hate each other now. It should mean more entertaining things on the track, especially if they find themselves battling for wins.


This “rivalry” between Logano and Kenseth is ironic, as Joey used to drive the 20, and Gibbs didn’t hesitate one little bit to boot Joey from the car, once Gibbs knew Kenseth wanted to bail on Roush. I also feel that the media, perhaps with encouragement from Castle Daytona, is doing everything they can to blow this up as much as possible. If the NASCAR management, ie, the brainless wonder, is encouraging the media, they need to be careful as to how far they push it. I have never liked Saint Joe and his bible-waving attitude, and I would never trust him to hold Matt back in getting any kind of revenge on Gibbs’ former employee. Gibbs wouldn’t have an ounce of remorse if Kenseth took it to the extreme and did something to seriously injure Logano. It happened before, when Carl Kiekhaefer ordered Speedy Thompson to go out and wreck Herb Thomas in order to protect Buck Baker’s points lead. Thomas had just left Kiekhaefer’s operation, and was driving for himself, and was giving Baker a good run for his money. Thompson did as he was ordered. Trouble was, he wrecked Thomas in a way that nearly killed Thomas, and did end his career. At the end of the season, Kiekhaefer shut his operation down, left NASCAR, and went back to his Mercury Outboard Motor company. Is Gibbs about to become the next Carl Kiekhaefer.

Oh, that incident where Herb Thomas was nearly killed to place at the end of the 1956 season.


This will go on all year until Joey dumps him somewhere….I still think Logano.owes him one after Martinsville

Namcy Germann

Karma is a b_ _ch Matt Kenseth. I live in Madison Wi just down the road from Matt’s hometime. Was a Kenseth fan for years.But that ended last year with his cheap shot to Logano. Kenseth needs to move on and quit whinning. He is starting to sound like the Busch brothers.


In that case, Lady Karma is bitch slappin’ the both of them around. Joey hasn’t won since last year either.


The problem is that just about the entire field is a bunch of whining crybabies. Witness Kyle Busch’s post race interview and Princess Danica’s hilarious stink-eye after being released from the infield care center.

Please transport me back to the days when racers were real men, and NASCAR was real racing.


I find the whole thing a pathetic reminder of our sick times. Matty made a comment that he “felt things were behind us, apparently not”. Hello loony you are not over anything. It is very evident Logano is in his head. I got this skit going in my head, Matt is told to go to the store by the wife. He is told to pick out this and that, he can’t focus cause he see’s Joey on the head of lettuce, the frozen pizza, etc. and they arrest him for damaging the merchandise. There isn’t any issue, only in Matt’s flucked up head, no matter how the media want to spin it as the “two of them”. It does not always take two to tango. Matt is doing the dance all by himself. This is clearly one sided insanity.

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