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Final appeals of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth’s 2-race suspension denied

NASCAR suspended Matt Kenseth, above, for two races for wrecking Joey Logano Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth is appealing the suspension.
NASCAR suspended Matt Kenseth, above, for two races for wrecking Joey Logano Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth is appealing the suspension. Getty Images

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel held firm on NASCAR’s two-race suspension of driver Matt Kenseth on Thursday.

Kenseth was suspended and given a six-month probation after he wrecked Joey Logano in the late stages of Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The panel twice denied Kenseth’s appeal of the suspension and six months’ probation. The appeal was initially turned down by a three-person panel Thursday morning.

After the appeal was denied, Kenseth again appealed, this time to the panel’s final appeals officer, Bryan Moss, whose decision to uphold the penalty was final.

Moss did shorten Kenseth’s probation from six months to end Dec. 31.

/Kenseth said he was “unfairly made the example” because NASCAR had no clear rule on what the penalties are for intentionally wrecking another driver in an act of retaliation.

“I am not going to change who I am, I’m not going to change what I stand for, I’m not going to change how I race,” Kenseth said. “I’ve been in this business a long time, I feel I’ve had a pretty good career to this point and I feel like I’m going to continue to have the respect on the race track that I feel I deserve.”

The three-person panel – Ken Clapp, Bill Mullis and Dale Pinilis – heard Kenseth’s appeal in a session that began Thursday morning in Concord.

Clapp is a former NASCAR executive. Mullis is owner of Langley (Va.) Speedway. Pinilis operates Winston-Salem’s Bowman Gray Stadium.

Kenseth, who is not in the Chase, will miss this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and the race Nov. 15 at Phoenix International Speedway.

Erik Jones, who races for Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Truck Series team, will drive Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Texas.

The Associated Press contributed.

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