Jeff Gordon Celebrates Sprint Cup Martinsville Win After Joey Logano Gets Taken Out

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Jeff Gordon celebrates victory after the Sprint Cup Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday (Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon celebrates victory after the Sprint Cup Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday (Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Yes, Jeff Gordon celebrated his 93rd career victory in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Yes, Gordon will compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Yes, there were tears of joy in Victory Lane for Gordon, who’s at the tail end of his final season in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

But Sunday’s race at Martinsville had so much more — most notably, “Matt Kenseth’s Revenge.”

Long before Gordon held off Jamie McMurray in a two-lap run to the finish as darkness consumed the .526-mile short track, Kenseth ended polesitter Joey Logano’s remarkable run in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by pile-driving Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford, which was leading the race at the time, into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 454 of 500.

Kenseth’s car was crippled at that point, the victim of a Lap 435 wreck that also involved the No. 2 Ford of Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski.

But when Kenseth clipped the left rear quarter panel of Logano’s Ford and slammed him into the SAFER barrier, it was retaliation for Kansas two weeks earlier, when Logano knocked Kenseth out of the way—and effectively out of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup—in the closing laps of the second race of the Contender Round.

Kenseth failed to advance to the Eliminator Round, which started at Martinsville on Sunday. And now Logano likewise is in dire jeopardy of seeing his dream season end before the Championship Round.

“I think what happened at Kansas is a completely different deal,” Logano said after a visit to the infield care center. “We were racing for the win, and he blocks you a few times, and then we raced hard and he blocked me the last time and we spun out. That’s what happened there.

“Here it was just a complete coward move, especially for a championship race car driver and race team. Just a complete coward. I don’t have anything else to say. It’s a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over.”

Logano, who was bidding for his fourth straight victory, finished 37th and is eighth in the Chase standings, 28 points behind Kevin Harvick in fourth, the last transfer position into the Championship Round.

It was clear from Kenseth’s post-accident comments that the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota felt it was important to assert himself.

“You never like to be in these situations,” Kenseth said. “They really stink, to be honest with you, but sometimes you get put in these spots, and you’ve got to try to keep respect in the garage area. You can’t get yourself ran over.

“You can’t get in the Chase next year and get ran over for the same reason. Like I said, hate the way it ended. Wish we were out there celebrating or having a shot for the win like we did before we got wrecked, so a disappointing day.”

NASCAR called Kenseth, crew chief Jason Ratcliff and team owner Joe Gibbs to the sanctioning body’s transporter after the race. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said the incident will be reviewed and subsequent action, if any, will be announced later this week.

None of the Kenseth-Logano drama, however, could mute the elation of Gordon, the first driver to clinch a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead.

“Yeah, baby, yeah—we go to Homestead!” Gordon screamed after crossing the finish line .335 seconds ahead of McMurray. “That was huge! That was huge! Boys, I love you guys.

“That’s what I was talking about. We just keep digging and fighting…”

A few minutes later, in Victory Lane, Gordon couldn’t resist a joke.

“It was a joke. I’m coming back next year!” Gordon quipped about his impending retirement. “This is the sweetest, most amazing feeling. I am so proud of this team. You want to talk about holding back emotions; right now man, wow, we’re going to Homestead! I can’t believe it.”

Kyle Busch had a fight on his hands, too, after spinning in Turn 2 on Lap 171 and damaging the front suspension of his No. 18 Toyota during contact with the No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin Dillon. But Busch rallied to come home fifth and is tied with sixth-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. for second in the Chase standings.

Denny Hamlin recovered from two pit road speeding penalties to run third on Sunday, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ryan Newman and Harvick and were seventh and eighth, respectively.

Keselowski and Kurt Busch, victims of the same wreck that ended Kenseth’s strong run, finished 32nd and 34th, respectively, and are approaching must-win status at the next two races in the Eliminator Round, at Texas and Phoenix.

Notes: Before the wrecks that ruined their chances, the Team Penske cars were dominant. Logano led a race-high 207 laps. Keselowski led 143 laps, and at one juncture had built a lead of 8.9 seconds before Kyle Fowler smacked the Turn 3 wall to cause the 12th of 18 cautions. … The victory was Gordon’s first of the season and his ninth at Martinsville, breaking a tie with teammate Jimmie Johnson for most among active drivers.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, Virginia
Sunday, November 01, 2015

1. (5) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 500, $199836.
2. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 500, $158301.
3. (10) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 500, $131335.
4. (22) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 500, $117160.
5. (6) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 500, $138391.
6. (2) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 500, $121985.
7. (7) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 500, $124615.
8. (12) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 500, $146715.
9. (24) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 500, $104790.
10. (13) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 500, $119004.
11. (3) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 500, $133298.
12. (21) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 500, $133051.
13. (23) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 500, $113973.
14. (14) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 500, $88865.
15. (26) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 500, $97065.
16. (8) Aric Almirola, Ford, 500, $125201.
17. (19) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 500, $110023.
18. (30) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 500, $124176.
19. (9) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 500, $114423.
20. (31) Cole Whitt, Ford, 500, $98823.
21. (27) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 500, $85815.
22. (41) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 499, $95087.
23. (38) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 498, $85265.
24. (33) David Gilliland, Ford, 498, $93015.
25. (28) David Ragan, Toyota, 498, $111954.
26. (25) Greg Biffle, Ford, 497, $115598.
27. (35) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 496, $85365.
28. (20) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 493, $107560.
29. (39) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 492, $81090.
30. (36) Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, 492, $82515.
31. (32) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 491, $125465.
32. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 490, $129231.
33. (43) Alex Kennedy #, Chevrolet, 489, $80665.
34. (15) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 486, $98615.
35. (34) Brett Moffitt #, Ford, 479, $80565.
36. (42) Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 459, $80515.
37. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, 458, $139538.
38. (18) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, Parked, 443, $112688.
39. (29) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 423, $79680.
40. (16) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, Accident, 391, $75680.
41. (40) Kyle Fowler, Ford, Brakes, 373, $63680.
42. (37) Ryan Preece, Ford, 365, $59680.
43. (17) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, Accident, 185, $90338.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 69.643 mph.
Time of Race: 03 Hrs, 46 Mins, 35 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.335 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 18 for 109 laps.
Lead Changes: 21 among 9 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-8; M. Truex Jr. 9-35; J. Logano 36-43; J. Gordon 44-53; J. Logano 54-59; Kurt Busch 60-81; J. Logano 82-158; A. Dillon 159-164; J. Logano 165-198; K. Harvick 199-236; B. Keselowski 237-239; J. Logano 240-255; B. Keselowski 256-282; J. Logano 283-292; B. Keselowski 293-388; J. Logano 389-393; B. Keselowski 394-410; J. Logano 411-453; J. Gordon 454-456; D. Hamlin 457-459; A. Allmendinger 460-478; J. Gordon 479-500.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano 9 times for 207 laps; B. Keselowski 4 times for 143 laps; K. Harvick 1 time for 38 laps; J. Gordon 3 times for 35 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 27 laps; Kurt Busch 1 time for 22 laps; A. Allmendinger 1 time for 19 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 6 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 3 laps.
Top 16 in Points: J. Gordon – 4,047; Kyle Busch – 4,039; M. Truex Jr. – 4,039; K. Harvick – 4,037; C. Edwards – 4,030; B. Keselowski – 4,013; Kurt Busch – 4,011; J. Logano – 4,009; D. Hamlin – 2,251; R. Newman – 2,231; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 2,221; J. Mcmurray – 2,201; M. Kenseth – 2,197; J. Johnson – 2,193; P. Menard – 2,177; C. Bowyer – 2,124.


  1. Wow did you see that . Dirty deeds done dirt cheap ! Nothing on the mod tour this year compares to That move by Kenseth . He makes no effort to lift or turn .

  2. Nascar needs to come down hard on this one , Dollar General should come down hard

  3. Pathetic what the chase format and Nascar politics have the sport turning into. I think Kenseth should be suspended the remainder of the season.

    Does anyone know what percentage of the money listed above the driver gets? Looking at Preece, for finishing 42nd, $59,680

  4. I don’t follow Sprint Cup very much, but I’ve seen the replay. What a WWE move!

  5. People can criticize Kenseth all they want, this is exactly what NASCAR wants, it’s about ratings not fairness or right and wrong.

  6. Barry, you got it right. It’s the WWE on wheels. The current format was bound to produce this result.

  7. Kenseth is already out of Chase. Even if he gets suspended it won’t matter much. I’m sure he would enjoy a week off. Heck, Harvick manipulated the Chase last week to save his tail. Nascar didn’t do anything. The chase has turned into a sham. Then come Homestead, everyone will let the chase cars pass creating another boring single file event.

  8. Gee wiz people. Didn’t Joey Boy do the same thing to Kenseth last week?? Seems like Joey Boy can dish it out but can’t take it. NASCAR didn’t bother to do anything about that. Why should they now??

  9. I will admit that Kenseth shouldn’t have bragged about it. But the crowd went wild when it happened. I don’t think Lagano is going to win the most popular driver award this year.


    Give me a break. Everyone wants old time NASCAR, and then when they get it ….

  11. Not a Fanboy says

    NASCAR should bring back the penalty box that they used to use in the nineties. Racing was much cleaner then. My prediction is Kensith will be parked for the season and probably lose his sponsors/ride . He came out of the care center and lied through his teeth.

  12. Yeah. Didn’t NASCAR tell the guys to “have at it” at the beginning of the year?

  13. “Didn’t Joey Boy do the same thing to Kenseth last week??”

    Contact while racing for position is the same as a car several laps down taking out the leader? You sound like NASCAR’s vision of a perfect Sprint Cup fan.

  14. Paul – Since the car Ryan drove won around $59,000 for the race, that means he gets zero percent and owes another $41K to Jay Robinson for the race. It’s a hundred thousand a race to run with the big dogs. Even in the worst junk out there.

  15. Not a Fanboy says

    Nascar should bring back the penalty box that they used back in the 90s. Racing became much cleaner for a few years. I know, today’s fans would not approve, they want to see the bump and run and the retaliation that follows.

  16. Barry, better watch the replay on that one again. Joey Boy got Kenseth’s left rear corner square in the middle of his front end. That’s not racing for position. That’s getting someone out of the way. If Joey Boy wasn’t fast enough to get around him, he didn’t deserve the spot. And by the way, this chase crap they have now has made me NOT a Sprint Cup fan. This is dog eat dog crap.

  17. Not a Fanboy is correct. NASCAR needs to take control of the action on the track and make the penalties when these incidents happen. It’s rough riding whether you like it or not and should be penalized just like most weekly short tracks.

  18. I don’t have a horse in this race but as far as logano spinning out Kenseth a few weeks ago in formula 1 if you make a move to defend a position you can only make one move once you move twice and block a second time you are penalized. Kenseth clearly was blocking and running Logano all over the place. JMO.

  19. Lost Respect for the 20 says

    The “Boys have at it” was referring to beating and banging when racing for position. Fans want to see racing aggression. Being 9 laps down and waiting on someone to wreck them does not fall under the category of “boys have at it.” What I think is being lost in all of this is how Kenseth lied to all of the fans. Less than 1% of race fans actually believe something went wrong mechanically on the 20 car. If Kenseth had just owned up to it and said something like, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” then he would have been making a statement. Instead, he cowardly lied and said it was accidental. Penalty or not, Matt Kenseth lost respect from race fans and his sponsors. At the end of Matt’s career, he won’t care about how many trophies he has. What he will care about is the image of “Matt Kenseth” that will be left behind. People will remember how calculating and calm he was behind the wheel. This incident and the way he has conducted himself in the Chase this year, is putting his good legacy in danger.

    For all of Mike Stefanik’s career, he was calm behind the wheel and raced others clean. He also knew how to save his car, and a lot of people judged him as boring to watch because of it. Well, he has 70 something wins and was pretty darn successful. I think Kenseth and Mike have similar driving styles and personalites. Now, envision if Mike, at the end of his career, had incidents like Kenseth’s this past weekend. Why gain the respect of fans and fellow racers your whole career to ruin it doing something so stupid? The move just didn’t make sense. Eventually, he’ll regret the decisions he made this year.

  20. Who really cares about Joey and Matt. The kid screwed with the bull and got his horn.

    How about Jeff Gordon. This could be the story book ending to a great career. I hope he wins the championship and goes out on top. Good luck Jeff!

  21. “Kenseth clearly was blocking and running Logano all over the place.”

    Exactly right… FOR POSITION.

    Being a ton of laps down and waiting for the leader to come around, then wrecking him or her, is on par with a WWE wrestler running into the ring during a match they aren’t even part of and hitting someone with a folding chair.

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