Matt Kenseth not proud of Charlotte post-race actions, but doesn’t regret them

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Matt Kenseth is about as calm a figure as you’ll find in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage.

But as he said today at Talladega Superspeedway when talking about his post-race scuffle with Brad Keselowski last week at Charlotte, everyone has a breaking point.

Keselowski apparently found Kenseth’s when he slammed into the side of him at the entrance to pit road just after the conclusion of the Bank of America 500.

That was part of a sequence of events that began with Keselowski and Denny Hamlin tangling on the cool-down lap and ended with Kenseth attacking Keselowski from behind between a pair of haulers.

Today, Kenseth admitted that he wasn’t happy with how he reacted in the situation. But he also said that he didn’t regret it.

Already frustrated about a late restart incident in which he said Keselowski ran him into the wall and cost him key track position, Kenseth said the pit road run-in was the last straw.

“I was mad enough about [the restart] and to come down afterwards and have your stuff off and your net down, and he comes and pulls those high school stunts – playing car wars – after the race was absolutely unacceptable,” he said. “That definitely put me over the edge.

“I don’t regret my actions. I’m not proud of them or happy about ’em or any of that, but I don’t regret them. I don’t know if I’d do anything different. The same thing would’ve went down again.”

Kenseth escaped punishment of any kind for his role in what occurred after the race at Charlotte, while Keselowski was fined $50,000 and put on probation for the next four races.

Tony Stewart, who was also hit by Keselowski on pit road and then backed his car into Keselowski’s own, got the same amount of probation and a lesser fine of $25,000.

After their fight between the haulers, Keselowski accused Kenseth of hitting him during the final yellow of the race as the latter was taking the wave-around to get back on the lead lap.

Keselowski added that the right-front damage he sustained from that caused him to fall from the Top-5 at the last restart with two laps left to 16th at the finish.

But Kenseth said today that Keselowski was “greatly exaggerating” what occurred during the wave-around.

“If you watch the video, you can see he had no marks on the right-front of his car after that instead of tearing his right-front off,” he said. “I did indeed swerve at him when I took the wave-around because he put me in the wall and totally ruined my day.

“But if you look at his car, there was absolutely no damage on [the right-front].”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III