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Matt Kenseth admits he should have been ‘sneakier’ in payback of Joey Logano

Matt Kenseth looks forward to making 2016 even better than last year with Joe Gibbs Racing, but questions surrounding his feud with Joey Logano continue to linger. Will the fallout bleed into this season's campaign?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Matt Kenseth says he would have been “a little sneakier” in retaliating against Joey Logano during last year’s Chase had he known what the consequences would be.

NASCAR suspended Kenseth for two races after he returned to the track and wrecked Logano, who was leading at the time, during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. The move was in retaliation for contact between the drivers that caused Kenseth to spin out of the lead late in the Oct. 18 race at Kansas Speedway.

“I think it was something that, unfortunately, needed to be done,’’ Kenseth said Tuesday of his payback of Logano. “Obviously if I knew I was going to be suspended, I’d figured out how to do it differently and be a little sneakier about it to where you didn’t get yourself suspended.

“You always hope that it never comes to that and you can work things out and think the best of people and move on. Sometimes, also you get to a point where, especially in this day and age and these formats, you can’t get run over and taken out of the races because everybody is watching that and they’re like, ‘OK you can run him over and he’s not going to do anything.’

“You hate to be in that spot. You hate to ever do anything like that. I wish none of it ever happened. I wish with 10 to go at Kansas he would have figured out how to pass me without running into me just like Jimmie (Johnson) did to Brad (Keselowski three weeks later) at Texas, just like I did to him earlier in the race when I followed him for 15 or 20 laps, and he took away my line, and I finally figured out how to pass him. I wish he would have won, and I would have finished second, and he would have figured out how to get around me the right way, and we would never been in that spot.’’

Kenseth, a former series champion who has won 36 Sprint Cup races, admits he’s gained more acclaim for his actions against Logano than for anything else.

“I’ve got to be honest, I’ve had more fan support in the last three months than I’ve had my entire life,’’ he said. “It’s been unbelievable.

“Race fans like that stuff. They really do. I don’t particularly like it, but race fans like it, and they like to watch it. That’s how racing has been ever since I started watching NASCAR. You wreck me, you might get wrecked back. That’s how it has always been. I think a lot of the fans, especially old-school fans, no matter who they’re a fan for, probably like to see that action again instead of everybody being clean and liking each other so much.’’

Kenseth said he had never had a problem with Logano before the Kansas incident.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for him,’’ Kenseth said. “I feel like he’s always treated me with a lot of respect on the racetrack before all this went down as well. Best case for everybody is just put it behind us and move on and go back to racing each other how we used to race each other.’’

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