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].”

Supercross: Enzo Lopes will race with ClubMX in 2024

Lopes ClubMX 2024
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Coming off his best Supercross season to date, Enzo Lopes has re-signed with Muc-Off / ClubMX Yamaha and will race for the team in 2024. The deal is for Supercross only.

Enzo Lopes won his heat race in Denver and finished fourth in the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

Lopes debuted in the Supercross series in 2019 on a Suzuki and scored his first top-10 finishes in his last two starts of that season. Showing consistent improvement, he earned six top-10s in eight Main events the following year and finished fifth in the 250 East standings. In 2022, he scored his first top-five at Daytona and finished in the top five in points again.

“I am happy to be returning to ClubMX for another season,” Lopes said in a press release. “It is like family to me there and that is very important. Although I had many options, staying where I am makes the most sense for many reasons. The bikes are great, the people are great, the tracks are amazing, and I am surrounded by people that care about me. We all want to win and together we will get there.”

While he improved his season-best performance by only one position this year, it was nevertheless a breakout season. Lopes barely missed the podium three times in 2023 with fourth-place finishes at San Diego, Seattle, and Denver.

His strong performance him rumored to be speaking with factory teams.

“We could see the growth from Enzo every time he gets on the bike,” said team owner Brandon Haas. “We all knew it was just a matter of time before he would be noticed by everyone, and we are proud of him on many levels. He had some heat race wins and qualified fastest at three events this season. It would be hard not to be noticed going that fast. He had a big decision to make and we are glad he chose to stay with us at ClubMX.”

Lopes had three podium finishes in heat races this year, including a win preceding his fourth-place finish in Denver.

Lopes will join Jeremy Martin, Phil Nicoletti and Garrett Marchbanks, who announced a two-year extension with the team in January, at the ClubMX team.