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.