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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2015 Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville

Who’s in the headline – Martinsville resurrected the emotions of both fans and competitors that it has not incited in a decade. In the end, while there is much buzz about retribution and championship ramifications, the most important story of the weekend is that Jeff Gordon will be one of the four competitors vying for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in three weeks. The four-time champion, who has lost several titles due to the Chase format, will now be in the mix when the green flag flies on his final race of his career with a one in four chance at winning his fifth career championship.

What happened – Martinsville Speedway was more of a throwback than Darlington on Labor Day weekend. Only a handful of cars left the event without sheet metal damage or some kind of Barebond stuck to them. Joey Logano was the dominant car for much of the event and was likely headed to a victory before a late-race restart incident damaged the cars of Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch. Kenseth’s crew repaired the No. 20 and he returned to the track significantly off of the pace. As Logano caught him on the front straight and attempted to put him another lap down, Kenseth caught the inside of the leader’s car and pushed him into the outside wall in turn 1. The damage not only crippled Logano’s car but probably his title hopes. In the aftermath, AJ Allmendinger stayed on the track under caution and led 19 laps before being passed after the final restart by eventual winner Gordon.

Why you should care – This race could have long lasting implications in the sport for years to come. The crowd at Martinsville was louder than any NASCAR event in the last 10 years and the buzz was electric. NASCAR has maintained that the competitors should police themselves, but they are disappointed in this situation because Kenseth was multiple laps down when he made the contact with Logano. When the ultimate discipline is handed down on Tuesday, it could kill the momentum that was generated today or it could fuel a resurgence in the sport that is so desperately needed.

What your friends are talking about – Without a doubt the Kenseth-Logano contact is the hot topic that will reverberate through the sports world for the next week or more. The only thing it was missing was a garage fight between the crews to cap it off. Kenseth was upset after Kansas and intimated that he would return the favor to Kenseth before the end of the Chase this season. He took out Logano and has put him behind the 8-ball for the next two races if Logano is going to have a shot at this title. The question now is will the sanctioning body let it stand or will Kenseth receive a severe punishment?

After the race, Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President of Racing Operations, was asked if Martinsville Speedway should have lights. He said, had they not reached the full 500 laps due to darkness he would have a different response, but stated that it was something they will discuss with the track. The beauty of Martinsville is that it is historic and maintains the charm it had when it was on the very first NASCAR schedule. It should NEVER have lights.

The race on Sunday started under a green/yellow condition. This isn’t the first time that NASCAR has pulled this stunt and the sanctioning body deserves to be called out for it. The racing surface is either safe for competition or it is not. The excuse was that the pit lane was too wet for the cars to run to their stalls safely should they need to come down for stops. While getting the cars on the track to dry the pits was necessary, they should not start counting laps until the event takes the true green flag. It is as much of a farce to start a race like that as it is to end a race under caution.

NASCAR not only unveiled the 2016 schedule for the Cup series with no change to the Chase tracks or race positions and also announced that all of the tracks have reached a five-year agreement to host races. While the dates and positions of the races may change over the four years following 2016, there will be no races lost for any of the tracks. Considering NASCAR has made it clear they do not want to add any more race dates to the schedule, it is a safe assumption that there won’t be any new tracks added to the race docket. Considering the fantastic action this weekend and the desire most fans have to see more short-track racing, it is truly a disappointment. It is also disheartening that the final race of the second round of the Chase will once again be the crap shoot that is Talladega. The people in the garage were certainly as saddened as the fans at that situation.

Who is mad – Logano is obviously at the top of the list for this category. Coming off of his third consecutive victory last week at Talladega he was riding a wave of momentum and was looking to gain a birth in the final four at Homestead. Leading over 200 laps and running a half of a straight ahead of his closest competition, he was looking to tick off the final 45 laps to the win. Now he’s last in point among the either drivers still alive in the Chase and 28 points behind Kevin Harvick, who is fourth in the points after Sunday.

Kurt Busch was in the mix all day, entering the top 10 shortly after the start of the race and running there all day until the lap 435 restart. Busch went from fourth and looking at a great start to this penultimate round of the Chase, to seventh in points and 26 behind his teammate who is in the fourth spot. Busch was caught up in someone else’s drama that had put him perilously close to a must win situation to advance to the final four.

The other half of Team Penske is on the bitter train after Martinsville as well. Keselowski led the second most laps in the race and, like Busch, was in the front of the pack for most of the race after the crossed flags until the incident that took out both of them. Keselowski managed to get back on track just 10 laps down and finished the race in 32nd and is at the tail end of the title contenders with Logano and Busch.

Who is happyJamie McMurray has won the pole at Martinsville before and knows his way around the track well enough to have 14 top-10 finishes at the half-mile paperclip. That is four more than any other track on the schedule. He came home in second, which ties his best result of the season from Phoenix in the fourth race of the year. After making the Chase for the first time in his career and being eliminated in the first round, this has to be a positive momentum builder for the veteran driver.

Denny Hamlin started the race in the 10th position and slid backwards early on in the race. He was then involved in the fourth caution of the event but managed to stay on the lead lap. From being in the 30s twice in the first 150 laps of the race he and his No. 11 team clawed their way back and, through aggressive moves on the final restart, put himself in the third finishing position.

Carl Edwards was well behind his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates for most of the event Sunday, languishing in the 20s and going a lap down at one point. He received the lucky dog on the 15th caution of the event and used that momentum to climb back up to a 14th-place finish. While he is not in a transfer position in the points at this time, he has to feel blessed that the chaos that befell the end of the event knocked three of the title contenders down to the tail end of the finishing order and put him in the position to be only seven points out of the final transfer spot.

When the checkered flag flew

Gordon notched his 93rd career victory on Sunday in his 794th consecutive start. He is still in third place on the all-time wins list, 12 behind David Pearson.

This is Gordon’s ninth career triumph at the half-mile track outside of Martinsville, Va. The win was Gordon’s first trophy of 2015.

McMurray came home in the runner-up position for the second time this season. This was McMurray’s second finish in the first loser spot at Martinsville in his career. McMurray has come home second 11 times in his career, which ties him for 59th on the all-time list with Tim Richmond and Alan Kulwicki among others.

Hamlin rounded out the podium for his ninth career top-three run at Martinsville. It was Hamlin’s ninth top-three run of 2015. He has 76 career finishes in the first three positions, which ranks him 30th along with Kurt Busch on the all-time list.

Jeb Burton scored a 27th-place finish to claim Rookie of the Race honors.

The third round of the Chase started with some remarkable fireworks and has set up Gordon with a 25% chance of winning the 2015 Cup title. As the lone representative of Hendrick Motorsports still in the Chase, he is assured to have all of the resources of the most powerful organization in the sport behind the effort to land their flagship driver a fifth and final title to put the bow on his illustrious career. The remainder of the eight Chase contenders and their points position after Martinsville:

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Carl Edwards
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Joey Logano

Takin’ it to the Bank

Cup winners this year have pocketed $10,876,173 in 33 races, while the last place finisher has taken home $2,559,206.

In the Xfinity series it has been $2,142,274 for the winners and $391,155 for last place in 30 races.

After 20 Truck races the winner has $975,326 in his coffers and the last loser has banked $185,951.

What is in the cooler

For the first time in several years, there is no question whatsoever that this race receives a full frosty six-pack of adult beverages. So here is a toast of American Dream Stout from Big Lick Brewing. Gordon scoring his ninth career win at Martinsville could easily be the story of the weekend. Add in the retribution from Kenseth on Logano and the looming specter of Harvick still potentially facing anger from a dozen drivers taken out by his actions at Talladega, and the buzz around the sport is at an all-time high. The ridiculous nature of crowning a champion with such a random system may turn off long-time fans, but it has ramped up excitement to levels that the sport has not seen since the early 2000s.

Where do you point your DVR for next week – The series heads to the Lone Star state next weekend for the second race in the third round of the Chase. The final D-shaped mile-and-a-half of the season will be knocked off with all of the tension that this weekend has instilled in the sport. To see the action on television next weekend tune into NBC. You can hear the action on your local PRN affiliate or SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. You can also see the event streamed on NBCSports/Liveextra. It all goes down at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, November 8.

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66 thoughts on “Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2015 Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville”

  1. Is this crap what is considered racing now? Half of that crowd cheering are morons, hate young talent, and blame Logano for The God not winning at his and Nascars proclaimed track of “Earnhardt”. Man Nascar fans are a true embarrassment.

    • Well then quit watching then you are on here every week moaning about it I’m a kenseth fan and while I think what Matt did wasn’t prob his finest moment I don’t think he should get any thing more than Gordon got 2 years ago with him and Clint but that’s just me and you have your Penske opinion too

      • Well Jay, most whine on here about Nascar…maybe you should not come on here and read..seeing the truth as most know it upsets you so. Yawn.

    • Seemed like a lot more than “half” the crowd was cheering.
      Na$car has achieved their goal, they are on sports center.

      • Yup, no better than the blood thirsty spectators, back in the day…a long time ago. Sick business no matter who is involved.

  2. Instead of asking Steve O’Donnell about the lack of lights at Martinsville, they should asked him whose brilliant idea it was to schedule the race there on the day we return to standard time. Of course, these are the same people who think having a race in Atlanta in February is a good idea too.

    • rg72 – did you hear about atlanta’s weather guarantee for this coming feb? if not 50 degrees on race day, you’ll get ticket to next year’s race.

    • Are you implying there is a problem with the start time for the “races”? I don’t think I’ve heard that before.

      • Don, I would love it if NASCAR would stop screwing around with the start of the races. They used to always be a 1 p.m. local time start. Then the TV people started jacking around with the times and for some reason the logic they apply seems to be that starting the race later will attract the NFL crowd. That logic is so faulty it is amazing. Football fans won’t suddenly decide to tune into a NASCAR race if they are watching the game.

    • rg72, yes I asked myself that same question about the scheduling. At the very least they should have moved the start time up to 1 p.m. and given themselves as much cushion as possible for the end of the race. Martinsville is known for lots of cautions.

  3. NASCAR is sports entertainment. This is what they have become since 2004 with the advent of ‘The Chase’. This is their bed, now they have to sleep in it. What you saw yesterday is ‘quintessential NASCAR’. A driver did what he had to do… no different that Logano intentionally turning Kenseth at Kansas, and last week Harvick causing a wreck. Wrecking is wrecking and NASCAR has only themselves to blame for condoning it.

    • The Kansas incident is apples and oranges compared to what happened yesterday on so many levels. I find it troubling the “fans” seem to think they are one in the same. Very large difference.

  4. so the “boys have at it” mentality is no longer applicable in na$car?

    i turned on the race 2 times yesterday….once for the spin and wreck and once at the end for gordon’s victory lane celebration. i swore off na$car after the mess at dega last week. but curiosity did get the best of me, that’s why i checked 2 times.

    let’s see….kenseth will be fined points and money and if not set out for rest of the season, then he’s be on probation til 12/31/2015.

    did i see results that stewart had a 10th place finish?

  5. Obviously I am ecstatic that Gordon won regardless of the circumstances. With the extended coverage of victory lane it felt like the sport and fans took the opportunity to say goodbye to a man that has been a fixture in the garage for a quarter century. One last moment of glory for a champion heading for retirement and the HOF. One last thrill for his fans where there haven’t been that many in the last few years.

    As for the Logano-Kenseth deal this is what is wrong with this championship format. Without the elimination factor and constant points reset Logano and Kenseth would both still be in the hunt and the urgency for revenge would be muted by common sense. This format cannot be enforced or officiated and there are too many opportunities to manipulate the outcome of the championship. This is what NASCAR racing has devolved into. Glad I won’t care after this year.

    I remember in 2013 when Gordon took out Bowyer in Phoenix as payback. I was embarrassed and at the same time OK with the move because I had had enough with Bowyer’s antics that year too. I remember commenting that I would be OK if he was suspended for the final race (he wasn’t) because it was worth it. I hope Kenseth and his fans feel the same way because I believe he will be sat out for a race.

    While the fans cheered in the heat of the moment because, let’s face it, everyone loves a train wreck, I think most will realize this is not good for the sport. This format will only produce more of the same in the future. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR (mis)manages this fiasco. This has been escalating over the last 3 weeks. We had increasingly questionable incidents escalating for the last three weeks. The Harvick and Kenseth incidents in the last two weeks were clearly over the line of any kind of sportsmanship or acceptable behavior. NASCAR has finally crossed the line from a sport to WWE entertainment and as long as we have this format I expect the same in the future.

    • bill – congrats to you. i did enjoy the post race coverage. loved seeing his children with him front and center.

      even this “abg” fan wants gordon to win championship and take the trophy and ride into the sunset.

    • Well, I despise a train wrecks in Nascar, because those train wrecks are usually not self contained. Jeff Gordon got away with blatant garbage with Bowyer. I have no particular love for either one but because it was Jeff, it was o.k.
      Jeff fans to this day still believe there was justification for his serious lap of sanity. Where does it end. Nascar loved it, I hate drama and because you are a fan of a particular driver, some things cannot be excused away. Well, I guess you won’t have to worry about it after 3 races..you will be gone.

      • Yeah well you didn’t really read my comment. I said I was embarrassed and I expected a suspension and would have been OK with it. I also said that suspension would have been worth the payback. Sometimes you have to feed the beast.

        BTW, I never said I’d be gone. I said I will never put myself in a position where I care about what stupid rules they come up with because I refuse to be vested in this comedy of crap.

        And maybe you should change your handle to “Joey’s Mom” it would be both funny and accurate because you defend him like a parent defends their child if they don’t get picked for the all-star team. And, if you don’t like that, feel free to suggest that I change my handle to “jackass” because I really don’t give a puck what you think.

        • Wow Bill, just wow…Bill I did read your comment, what I am talking about is the fact that you knew it was wrong and was o.k. with it because you justified it because of your perception of Bowyers behavior towards Jeff. I think that reeks of hypocrisy. Bad behavior is bad behavior, that is all I am saying. Call me what ever you want. I see the bias against Fords and the hatred for the young talent. I see a bunch of old Fuddy duddy drivers constantly being hypocrites and get away with it because of who they are. Sorry you felt like you had to insult me the way you did, I was making an honest assessment of what I see. Wow, sad to see Bill, truly sad to see your rant and you slant on my pretty straightforward statement.

          • So was you calling for logano to be suspended when he put the 11 in the wall and hospital couple of years ago ????

          • Why are you asking me a question Jaybeach? I am a horrible person who moans, why make yourself miserable. Per your slap below…

  6. I’m all good good with Gordon winning and don’t even mind Kenseth ramming Logano, although it was really excessive…the equivalent of a five minute boarding call in hockey. Keseth should be parked for at least one race, in my opinion.

    One thing that I didn’t like was all that manuevering at the end of pit road in order to start on the inside and the team orders to swap places to let a leader inside. Time to start the single file restarts at some tracks.

    And one comical item….Joey’s dad running around with his headset on like he wanted to punch someone out. What a tool.

    • 100% agree with the games being played at the end of pit road to get an “inside starting spot”. This is the problem with the double file restarts. Yet every time I say we need to go back to the old way of having lapped down cars in one lane, people act like I have two heads. This would solve the problems with restarts as well. It seems most fans like the mayhem and chaos.

      • Well I’m with you there, I hate the double file restarts and the resulting mayhem and chaos but as you say, that seems to be a minority point of view.

        Whatever, next year, they can do triple file restarts and I won’t care.

      • I continue to argue that they should add a change cone to the Cup series so that drivers have a choice. Every one of the drivers says they aren’t smart enough to handle that. They have it at Bowman-Gray Stadium and it works. I would hope the “best stock car drivers in the world” would be smart enough to pull it off without too much silliness. The crap a the end of pit lane ruined Austin Dillon’s day and almost screwed up Harvick’s.

      • I think the question everyone should be asking is, why is there only one groove now at Martinsville and how can it be fixed. I’m not sure when it started happening, but Martinsville used to have 2 grooves so it didn’t matter which lane you were in on the restart. Maybe this should be addressed instead of constantly blaming double file restarts.

        • The bottom groove has always had a huge advantage. I only remember one time where someone could use the outside lane to advance. That was Bobby Hamilton in the 43 car in the spring race in 1998 (I think). Other than that the inside lane has always prevailed. And by the way, it may have seemed like the track had two grooves back then but since the lapped (slower) cars were starting on the inside lane and the better cars started on the outside. With that scenario I am sure on restarts that the outer lane could prevail against those slower cars.

        • They could pull a Bristol and re-concrete the corners with added banking on the outside. (I’m joking….)

          • at least they finally have them on the inside walls, jeez…took long enough.

            i’m really surprised at Kenseth’s post accident interview – just call it and be like “yep, i did it, i’d do it again” instead he said “sometimes you’re the bat, sometimes you’re the ball” i was surprised – but then again – not really.

            i also agree with single file restarts on SOME tracks. maybe with the 2016 package and aero dependency going away, it will be less of an issue, but now – it would just give the advantage to the leader on the mile and a halves.

            Finally – it’s good to see Gordon win (not a fan) – but in his last year – seeing him have a chance is great.

            I missed the footage of Logano’s dad – but need to see it – he’s a piece of work, and needs to stop playing protector dad when anything happens to his son on track.

      • At our local NASCAR sanctioned track when there is a caution they bring a cone out. As the drivers come around they either go below the cone , start on the inside lane, or go above it, start in the outside lane. This way the driver in second does not get screwed by having to go to the outside all the time unless he wants to. NASCAR should at least do this at tracks like Martinsville.

    • After the race, Alan Gustafson commented that the speeds are not high enough at M’ville to really lay down much rubber on the track, but hopefully with the 2016 reduced downforce package, they can use a softer tire that would put rubber down on the track better and open up more groves. I hope he is correct.

      • That makes sense. And unless I’m thinking of a different track, there was a time that you used to be able to pass both high and low. Pretty sure it was Martinsville. The explanation for why they can’t now has everything to do with the kit car they are driving now I’m sure.

  7. Like Bill B, I was so happy seeing Gordon win. It was great. You know, NASCAR has been touting its boys have at it scenario for several years now and have allowed a lot of questionable things to go on. Well, in my mind, they can’t have it both ways. Either they are going to shut up and allow the drivers to police the issues themselves or they are going to penalize people whenever they show emotion.

    I suppose morally I should say there is something wrong with wrecking people and that it isn’t good for the sport. However I look back at what Dale Sr did over his career and at least his fans loved it and it couldn’t have been too awful for the sport since people were more interested than they are now. Also I remember being surprised that Gordon had wrecked Bowyer but also thinking well, Bowyer had it coming and it was time Gordon stopped letting him push him around. Of course, that’s a two edged sword and can have even more implications for the crapshoot format.

    At any rate, I’m just going to be thrilled and happy that Gordon won at Martinsville and had his family there to share it and hope that he wins the big trophy at Homestead.

  8. My normal Sunday afternoon nap was interrupted yesterday, of all things, by a stock car race. At first I didn’t recognize it. After all, it has been a very long time since I have seen one. Was I just dreaming? No, sure enough,
    their it was. Bent sheet metal, lost tempers, and get this, the fans in the stands were excited! WOW-WEE. And then the best of all-Jeff Gordon drove to victory lane and parked. No stupid “I’ll try to create some phoney excitement burnout”!!!
    I am a little tired today from the lack of sleep yesterday afternoon, but don’t worry, back to a cookie cutter mile and a half next week. I will have plenty of time to make up for it.

  9. I have no words yet besides stunned, disgusted, disappointed and angry.
    but a thought did just strike me….
    Now I think we know the real reason Gordon is leaving.
    nascar is crap. with a capital S. it’s not worth the risk to his person or reputation.
    a crappy product, no longer a sport complete with a crapshoot ending with no hope of gettin any better in the foreseeable future.
    now i go back to my thoughts and to continue mourn for something once great now gone forever.

    • I have been saying this for a while. Gordon and now Stewart are leaving all within a year and its no coincidence it is timed right when this Chase format gets even more ridiculous. There is a reason that auto racing works better with a season long pts system and its being exposed right now and I don’t think the drivers like it. But we will never know because Nascar mutes them instead of letting them say what they feel. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to follow in the next few years, especially if they keep this same Chase setup.

      • Yep, if you are a competitor who thinks you are competing in a sport and at some point you realize you are now involved in a crapshoot, reality television show, it’s hard to want to be part of it. Gordon has had both championships and wins elude him as a result of the chase, double file restarts and GWC finishes. I’m sure he’d had enough and that weighed into his decision to retire. Likewise Stewart.

      • I am surea lot of you dismiss Brad as a jerk, because he drives a Ford and speaks the truth. But Brad did say a couple of weeks ago that this is “Entertainment and not a sport”. Jeez I would think Brad being a driver would know best, the few who picked up on him called him a jerk (of course because he breathes). The driver of a car said this, doesn’t that tell you something. And we have been saying since the announcement of Gordon leaving that it was because he was/is fed up with bull.

        • I miss Brad, Stewart, Newman, Hamlin and anyone else who has been muted by Nascar for speaking their mind. Watching Hamlins interview last week was extremely painful. You could tell he just wanted to go off on Nascar for this Chase format, but of course he won’t bite the hand that feeds him. Too bad for Nascar that the fans can’t be controlled like their drivers.

          • Steve and kb, yeah it has been frustrating because the drivers used to speak at least some semblance of the truth until NASCAR applied its big stick and muzzled them because the drivers didn’t like the way things were going in NASCAR.

            As others have said, the thing is that NASCAR has brought these guys fame and fortune so they are stuck with having to keep it PC or lose big time.

  10. The whole damned Kenseth/Logano incident that NASCAR has created is just ridiculously stupid. As a racing fan who feels favorably about both of them, I hate to see it. And no, I’m still not happy for Gordon to win a race. He can’t leave soon enough! ;)

    • Well hang in there Richie, you only have to endure 3 more races. I feel the same way about certain drivers so enjoy your grudge while you can.

      • Well, if he does win it, I suppose it would be fitting. Just one more success for him that I am pulling against. Despite my best efforts over the last 20 something years, the little bugger keeps winning stuff!

        Actually, I was at the ATL race the day he made his cup debut. I really wasn’t aware of it at the time as I was there to see Petty’s final race and to pull for #9 to win the champaship. All of the events that transpired that day made for one incredible race. Don’t think this chase business is ever going to deliver a truly exciting, competitive race and championship finish like that 1992 Hooters 500 did. And that, my friends, is the end of my fond Jeff Gordon memories! :)

  11. Janice, you sure know a lot about what’s going in nascar to have sworn it off. how does a person know exactly when to switch back when a spin happens and when the race is over.

    • just luck of the draw i guess. the broadcast says how long they’ll be on tv, so i’ll remember to check back about 15 min before broadcast is suppose to end. at the end when i checked, seeing the 24 team in v/l means, to me, that they won.

      was luck of the channel change when i caught the wreck.

      and of course coverage of the “wreck” and v/l made it to sports center as well.

  12. There are 11 people left in the Australian Outback, and Kucha are at an all-time high. They’ve just voted out Kimmi, their most annoying tribe member, and have just won a reward which not only nourished them, but morally crippled Ogakor. It’s writing on the wall right now – Mike, Alicia, Jeff, Elisabeth, Rodger or Nick are going to win the second season now. They’re going to get to the merge, take out Ogakor, and produce the show’s first unanimously loved winner.

  13. First. congratulations to Jeff Gordon, his team, and his fans on a well-earned win. It would be ironic (and many of you would say justified) for Gordon to win a championship because of the Chase format which his fans hate so much.

    However, the truest words were spoken yesterday by Kyle Busch: “It only matters whose name is above the door” (in assessing penalties). “NASCAR is consistently inconsistent.” The situation is “BS.” Would he (Kyle) be driving next week if he had intentionally caused a wreck? “Nope.”

    Whatever happens to Kenseth, the fact is that Harvick, Logano, Gordon, Edwards, and Danica have all gotten away with similar incidents. “He had it coming” is a piss-poor excuse, IMO. Punting a car to gain position may or may not be justified (again depending on who is punting whom), but lap down drivers intentionally wrecking another competitor should simply be out of bounds for everyone, regardless of popularity, sponsorship, or perceived icon status.

    My shout out of the race goes to Kyle Busch for saying what we all know is true.

    • Kenseth was wrecked this week by Brad, Joey’s teammate. That was enough for Matt. I don’t care that he was laps down, Joey’s teammate wrecked him so that is why Matt wrecked Joey.

  14. It is either right or wrong to intentionally wreck someone, not its ok if two drivers are going for the win but its not ok when one driver is laps down. In football, is it ok for a receiver to committ pass interference if he is trying to catch a ball that will win him a game but if his team is down by 6 touchdowns in the waning moments it is not ok. And what happens when a driver in second is going for the win and punts the leader who ends up crashing and getting seriously hurt, or God forbid killed. Kyle Busch was right (and it pains me to say that) in his comments, the only thing NASCAR is consistent in is being inconsistent.

    NASCAR has only themselves to blame in creating this mess.

    • Using your pass interference analogy, the official may rule “no call” if both players were going for the ball. It could be argued that both drivers going for a position would allow for some incidental contact. It MAY be incidental battling for the lead, but certainly not when the two drivers are not even on the same lap.

    • I guess it depends on what you define as “wrecking someone”. Putting a fender to someone and moving them out of the groove to win a race is one thing. Plowing someone into the wall when you’re laps down is a whole different kind of “wrecking”.

  15. Just saw the video as I hadn’t seen it live. I wonder how many of those idiots cheering were actually Jr fans and could care less about Logano or Kenseth. My guess is quite a few. Apparently this is the type of fan that Nascar is courting these days and what they had in mind for their “Game 7 moment” It looked more like WWE the way Kenseth pile drived Logano into the wall.

    • This is one point about this whole situation that I am kind of disappointed with Junior. I can understand fan loyalty. I’m loyal to anyone driving a Ford. Although, since by popular demand, apparently, everything is being done to keep any Fords out of the final-four, I now hope Gordon does win it this year. I also hope Edwards and Kyle Busch get taken out, just to watch “Coach Saint Joe the Hypocrite” cry and whine. Anyway, when fans started to throw their beer cans at Logano, as soon as news came out about the young girl being hit in the face, Junior should have called a press conference and blasted his fans, and told them that his fans are not that immature, and therefore, the beer-throwers are not true Junior fans. And if what Steve says is true, that the ones cheering Kenseth for wrecking Logano, I say the same thing. These fans need to grow up! Acting like spoiled brats just because your driver gets beat is what makes NASCAR fans the laughing stock of the sports world, second only to European soccer fans. They’re total morons over there!

      • I’m not a fan of Gordon, but the way this Chase has gone down, I would like nothing more than to see him win the title and say F-You to Nascar on his way out the door.

  16. I was there and it was a truly unforgettable experience for this Gordon fan. Martinsville is truly the best track in NASCAR. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when Kenneth took out Logano. It was shaking when Gordon won. It was truly an experience to be there with all the 24 fans celebrating the win live. Kudos to Clay Campbell, the Martinsville staff and NASCAR for getting the race in. I’m not upset they started Green-Yellow. I was more concerned about getting 500 laps, and there were plenty of cautions. My only advise would be to start the race sooner if it is scheduled after the clocks turn back.

    That being said, I don’t think what Kenseth did was right. There are other ways to get payback, but sometimes you get pushed too far. Going into the week I figured Kenseth was the one guy you didn’t want to piss off at Martinsville and my preminision came true. In the end though it helped Gordon, and made this the most memorable race I’ve ever attended. Can we race Martinsville 4 times a year? P.S. the hot dogs still taste the same, my weekend count was 13.

    • Glad that you got to see it. I can only imagine how great you felt seeing Gordon win again at Martinsville.

      I agree with you about the start time for this race in particular. There are always a lot of cautions it seems and starting at 1 p.m. would give them that little bit of a cushion needed.

  17. There is a small part of me that wonders if Kenseth has some frustration built up through the years that many blame his one-win 2003 championship season as the impetus for the American Idol (NASCAR Edition) form of determining a champion. This happened to be the year and Logano happened to be the one to in the cross hairs when he reached the breaking point.

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