NASCAR suspended Matt Kenseth for the next two Sprint Cup Series races on Tuesday for wrecking Joey Logano late in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR officials issued no other penalties, but did place Kenseth on probation for the next six months.
Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that Kenseth would appeal the penalty. “The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents,” the JGR statement read. “There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during the appeal process.”
Kenseth and Logano wrecked on Lap 454 of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.
Kenseth was multiple laps down at the time of the incident because of an earlier crash. Logano was out front and had led nearly half of the race to that point.
Kenseth attempted to blame the crash on a deflated tire or mechanical issue, but the altercation was widely perceived to be retaliation for hard racing between the two in recent weeks.
“Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
“Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR.”