NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Kyle Busch/Joey Logano incident that erupted following the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway remains under NASCAR review.
Busch made a bee line for Logano on pit road — and threw a glancing blow at his rival’s head — after the drivers made contact on the last lap of the race. A brawl ensued between the No. 22 Team Penske crew and Busch.
There’s just a lot of emotion and a lot of pressure on these guys
Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, NASCAR Chairman Brian France wasn’t surprised by Busch’s reaction to the incident.
“It’s an emotional sport,” France said. ‘And there’s so much on the line for all these drivers and teams…So much is expected of these guys to do their things, so when things happen — and they’re going to happen in a race — it’s not terribly crazy to understand that the emotions are going to boil over some times. We get that.
Making sure it ends now
“Obviously, there will be no retaliation. That will not be happening. So we’ll be dealing with that. The drivers understand, what we did a couple of years ago at Martinsville (with Matt Kenseth and Logano) that is unacceptable. What happens on the track, for good or for bad, for one driver or another, that’s where it stays and we move on to the next event.”
That’s not what happened between Logano and Kenseth during the 2015 Cup Playoffs. Logano had the faster car at Kansas Speedway and nudged Kenseth, who was leading the race, out of the way. Two weeks later at Martinsville Speedway, Kenseth dumped Logano, who had led 207 of 458 laps on the .526-mile paperclip-shaped track. With one move, Kenseth not only ended Logano’s chance for the win, the No. 22 team’s title hopes evaporated at Martinsville.
After Busch was released from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Infield Care Center on Sunday, he promised to exact revenge.
“That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it,” Busch said.
France believes Busch and Logano will sort out this latest fight.
“There really won’t be anything we need to worry about down the road,” France added. “If there is, we’ll deal with it. We’ll look at the tape and look at whoever participates in different things but we also want to be realistic.
“There’s just a lot of emotion and a lot of pressure on these guys, to do well, to compete at a high level and when something goes terribly wrong — as it did for Kyle — emotions are going to get the best of all of us and obviously, that’s what happened on Sunday.”
Drawing the line
Still, France said there’s a balancing act for competitors when deciding how far to let their emotions go.
“There is a very bright line that we are happy to clarify for any of the drivers, the teams or the owners to walk into our hauler on race day or before and talk to Richard Buck (Monster Energy Cup Series director), who runs the day-and-day-out racing,” France said. “He’ll be very clear on what a racing incident is or what we’ll accept or what might be paybacks or intentional things that might go on. He’s very clear about that.
“There’s no dispute to what that line is. When it gets crossed for emotional reasons — or whatever reason — we’ll deal with it. We won’t get too wound up about it because this is an emotional sport.
“There’s a lot on the line for these drivers, these teams, these sponsors and everybody else. That’s just part of big-time sports. Obviously, we want to keep the focus on the best racing in the world. It is what it is, the pressure on these guys, it’s so difficult. Every once in a while, it’s going to boil over.”