Matt Kenseth still remorseful over Martinsville wreck with Kevin Harvick (UPDATED)


UPDATED (8:23 p.m. ET): Looks like Kevin Harvick isn’t ready to forgive Matt Kenseth for knocking him into the wall in last weekend’s Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville Speedway.

Earlier today, Kenseth said he was still remorseful about the incident, which began when Kenseth wheel-hopped going into Turn 1. Kenseth then spun out and as that occurred, he got Harvick, who was turned around before tagging the wall.

After the race, Harvick vowed that Kenseth would not win this year’s Sprint Cup championship – and following tonight’s Sprint Cup qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway, Harvick did not appear to back off that threat.

When asked by USA Today if he was still upset about Martinsville, Harvick responded: “Absolutely.”

He was then asked if his face-to-face conversation with Kenseth earlier today over the incident had changed anything, to which he shook his head no and added: “I gotta do what I gotta do for my team to make it happen. He put us in the hole.”

Harvick is currently 28 points behind the cutoff to advance to the Sprint Cup Championship Race – dead last among the eight remaining Chasers.

Before Kenseth met with Harvick, he talked with the media this morning.

“I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever feel better about,” Kenseth said in reference to what occurred last weekend. “The only way I’ll probably feel a little better about it or whatever is if he makes it to Homestead, because if he doesn’t win a championship, at least it wasn’t because of my stupid mistake.

“But until then, I don’t know how much better I’ll feel about it.”

Kenseth also said that the only way the Martinsville situation could have been worse is if he had wrecked one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, and that prior to last weekend, he and Harvick had gotten along well enough on the track for some time.

As for being on guard against possible retribution from Harvick in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Kenseth said he couldn’t worry about the things he can’t control.

“I don’t feel it’s ever constructive no matter what it’s about,” he added. “I really can’t spend any time worrying about it. He knows it was a mistake. I’ll try to make it as right as I can possibly make it and move on from there.

“I can only control my own car and what I do and all that stuff, and obviously, I did a poor job of that last weekend.”

Kenseth recovered from his incident with Harvick to finish sixth and hang on to the fourth and final advance position for the Sprint Cup Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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

Petit Le Mans lineup

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 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



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