<
>

Brian France backs Logano's late bump on Kenseth as 'quintessential NASCAR'

After Joey Logano turned Matt Kenseth for the lead with five laps remaining in the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Kenseth said he wouldn't race that way.

According to NASCAR Chairman Brian France, Kenseth should race that way.

Speaking Monday on SiriusXM Radio's NASCAR channel, France endorsed the Logano move, which earned Logano the victory and put Kenseth in a virtual must-win situation Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, if Kenseth is to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

"That's quintessential NASCAR," France said on the "SiriusXM Speedway" show. "Late in the race, I think that's a great example of everybody doing probably exactly what they should be doing. You had Matt Kenseth trying to block and hold his position. He had a faster car behind him, and when you block, you risk that somebody is going to be in that position ... and there was contact."

Kenseth, who is now tied with Logano with a series-high five victories, had trouble a week earlier at Charlotte, the opening race of the three-race Contender Round. That made him a long shot to advance to the next round without a win at either Kansas or Talladega.

"Joey Logano made a very smart decision in what he did because not only did he try to win the race, which he said he wanted to do and obviously he did, but the idea to late in that race, to have an opportunity to put one of the top teams on the outside looking in to the next round in Matt Kenseth, [who] has run so well, that's a smart thing to do," France said.

France said the elimination-style format of the Chase "does reward aggressive racing at the end of the day."

It is unlikely Kenseth would agree that it was quintessential NASCAR, as he believes Logano "absolutely 100 percent" intentionally wrecked him. Logano denied intentionally dumping Kenseth and said it was hard racing for the same spot.

"He just chose to spin me out because he wanted to be in the top groove instead of going left and trying to race me for the win the way a man should do it really," Kenseth said after the race. "I definitely lost any respect I had for him before today, that's for sure."