By Jared Turner
After locking horns with Matt Kenseth at Kansas while battling for the lead in the closing laps, Joey Logano was unapologetic about spinning the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and costing him a win that would have punched Kenseth’s ticket to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. While Kenseth – who was clearly blocking Logano – refused to take any blame for the contact that sent his No. 20 car spinning, Logano refused to offer any regrets. And why should Logano have regrets? When two guys are racing that hard for the lead at such a pivotal point in the race, there has to be some give and take. Otherwise, what you saw on Sunday is how things will almost always play out. Why should Logano have cut Kenseth – who poses one of his biggest threats to a championship – any slack? The short answer is: He shouldn’t have. Logano didn’t deliberately dump Kenseth. He merely did what he had to do to win and, perhaps even more important in the big picture, keep Kenseth locked out of the next round. Kenseth can put the blame on Logano all he wants, but any fair-minded person knows it was just good, hard racing between two of the sport’s most formidable competitors.
How cool was it to see first-year Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney, who is running a limited schedule for the legendary Wood Brothers, come home seventh at Kansas in the iconic No. 21 Ford? This wasn’t the third-generation driver’s best finish of the year – that was actually a fourth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring – but this was Blaney’s best finish on a non-restrictor-plate track. It’s good to be reminded every once in awhile that the little teams in the sport can still overcome and get it done.