Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sports

Kenseth meets with Logano

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HOMESTEAD — As Matt Kenseth weaved his way through a pack of autograph seekers, a man stood firmly in front of him and reached out to shake Kenseth's hand.

"We all respect you, Matt," the fan told Kenseth.

"Thanks, man," he replied.

Kenseth returned to the race track for the first time since he was suspended for two races by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano as payback. The action drew the unprecedented penalty and ultimately cost Logano a spot in the Chase for the Championship field Sunday.

Before practice Friday for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400, Kenseth said he met with Logano at NASCAR's request.

"I think everything will be fine there," Kenseth said. "I mean, I wish none of it had happened, obviously. There's probably certain things we'll never agree on, but I think long term it will be fine, and we'll work it out."

Logano had little to say about the meeting.

"We haven't had enough of this yet?" he laughed. "It was good. NASCAR had us sit down and talk it out a little bit, and I thought that was good for us to do."

Logano spun Kenseth on Oct. 18 in Kansas to win a race that Kenseth needed to advance in the playoffs. Kenseth snapped at Martinsville two weeks later after he had been wrecked by Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski. Kenseth returned to the track and deliberately wrecked Logano.

NASCAR chairman Brian France likened Logano's move to Keselowski's aggressive charge on Jeff Gordon last year at Texas. Keselowski and Gordon made contact racing for the win and Gordon's tire was cut.

"That's (the racing) quintessential NASCAR, late in the race, wham, they're going at it," France said. "You've got to understand, that's us. That's what we do. That's what those guys do."

Kenseth met this week with France but declined to reveal any specifics about the conversation.

Denny Hamlin (176.655 mph) won the pole in Friday's qualifying with Logano (176.263) second, both finishing ahead of the Chase field. The championship will go to the highest finisher among Kevin Harvick, Gordon, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex.

TRUCKS: Erik Jones, 19, finished sixth in the Ford EcoBoost 200 to become the youngest champion in series history. Matt Crafton won the Homestead race and finished third for the season. Jones won the season title with 899 points, and fellow 19-year-old Tyler Reddick was second (884).

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