In racing there is one objective – to win. Does that mean that winning by any means is justified? I suppose that depends on your point of view.
In today’s event at Kansas Speedway, Logano captured the victory giving him back-to-back wins in the Contender Round of the Chase, but Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 was not without controversy
From Logano’s seat, both drivers raced each other aggressively. Kenseth had taken over the lead after a restart on Lap 248 and had already blocked Logano on the frontstretch as the pair approached lapped traffic. When it happened again as they were entering Turn 1 Logano gave Kenseth’s No. 20 Toyota a bump that sent him spinning, resulting in a 14th place finish for Kenseth while Logano claimed the checkered flag.
“It was good, hard racing,” Logano said. “We were racing each other really hard, and I got in the fence twice on the straightaways. He raced me hard, and I raced him hard back. That’s the way I race. If I get raced like that, I’ll race the same way.
“That’s how I’ve always been,” he continued, “and it will always be that way. I really couldn’t be more proud of this team. To be sitting in such a great position going into Talladega makes us feel really, really good.”
In the media center following the race, Logano was asked if he intentionally turned Kenseth. His answer was an emphatic, “No.”
“No, no, I think we both went for the same piece of real estate,” Logano explained. “We both went into that corner hard. I wanted to get position and get to the inside of him, and then he went for the same piece of real estate, as well. I wanted that second lane to be able to stay on the inside of him. You know, I ‘m thinking he may get trapped up behind one of those lap cars in front of him because they were running the top before, and they all hopped to the bottom, but you don’t know that until you’re in the corner, right?”
Kenseth, after finishing 42nd at Charlotte last week, desperately needed the win to ensure his advancement to the Eliminator Round and had a completely different opinion of Logano’s move.
“It was really cut and dry,” Kenseth said. “He (Logano) picked my rear tires off the ground and wrecked me, so there’s no debate about that one. He was a little bit tighter on that short run than I was, and I couldn’t get away from him.
“All day we had him pretty good. I still thought I was going to be able to stay in front of him and saw those lapped cars coming and tried getting a couple runs off the top there and I was plenty clear, got up in front of him and he just decided to take us out.”
Kenseth is currently 35 points out of the final transfer position (eighth place) and will probably need a victory at Talladega to advance to the next round.
Kenseth obviously upset after the race, said he has no plans to discuss the incident with Logano.
“I don’t think there’s anything to talk about,” he commented. “Anybody can see what happened. I know what happened. He knows what happened. Everybody watching knows what happened so I don’t really think there’s a lot to talk about.”
Kenseth went on to say that he did not feel Logano’s actions were warranted by anything he did.
“He just plain wrecked me. He cries on his radio a lot I guess about blocking or moving around, but I mean man, you’re leading the race you can pick whatever lane you want. It’s not like he was alongside of me. To wreck somebody for being in a lane you that you wanted to be in seems kind of risky and not very smart but it’s a decision he made.
Kenseth said he was not surprised by Logano’s actions, but that he was “really disappointed,” saying, “I’ve probably been one of his biggest supporters. It was an awkward thing, obviously, taking his ride, and I was excited for him when he started winning at Penske and when he got that ride and even found him today and congratulated him about racing against each other for a championship.”
He ended by stating, “That’s not the way I race people no matter what the stakes are.”
Is there a wrong way or a right way to win or is it as simple as the ends justify the means? You decide.