NASCAR has suspended two time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth for two races. Will this have a major impact on the current Sprint Cup standings?
Race driver Matt Kenseth was suspended for two races on Wednesday by NASCAR. The reason the racing organization gave was that Kenseth intentionally crashed into another driver’s car for either reasons of revenge or to knock the competing driver out of contention in the race. NASCAR, it seems, is trying to over compensate for its relatively lax attitude with regard to driver aggression and antics on the race track.
On Sunday, at Martinsville Speedway, Kenseth approached rival driver Joey Logano from behind and sent Logano crashing away and out of the race. At the time, Logano was leading the race and was very close to the top in the Sprint Car Championship standings, according to USA Today.
Kenseth, winner of two Daytona 500’s, had previously been eliminated from Sprint Cup Championship contention during a race two weeks previously when Logano had sent his car spinning and crashing out of the race. It was initially thought that Kenseth should be benched for at least five races but that would have rolled over into the 2016 season and adversely affected his point standings almost immediately.
For many years, racing fans have tolerated, and even saluted, the aggressive and “boys will be boys” behavior from their NASCAR drivers. Such attitudes were quite prevalent and part of the mythology long before NASCAR even became an official entity. NASCAR, however, is a multi billion dollar entity that needs to protect its reputation and not jeopardize its huge television contracts or the products it is constantly selling to the racing loving public.
NASCAR recently released a memorandum by its chairman that stated the organization can no longer allow the drivers to police themselves and to take matters into their own hands on the track. Many believe the organization has lost credibility and control to a certain extent. Many drivers, including Kenseth, have come out publicly and made such assertions. There is a fine line, they say, between what is proper and improper behavior as NASCAR is forever changing the rules and enforcing them in a discriminatory fashion.