Matt Kenseth feels road rage after Logano incident

"I wouldn't rather be going anywhere else than Talladega for the next race if we need a win", said Earnhardt Jr. after a disappointing showing at the Kansas Speedway last week.

But the casual smirk dissipated in minutes, replaced by genuine emotion. If you go back and you look at it frame by frame, I don't think you can say that Joey just ran into him on objective. He won the first two races in this round.

Logano has won two consecutive races and had already earned his berth into the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

NASCAR chairman Brian France sided with Logano, calling the move "quintessential NASCAR" during an interview on SiriusXM radio. Kenseth probably called it something entirely different away from the probing questions.

"All the years I've been to Talladega, I've tried every approach possible", Gordon said. Joey Logano is the only driver who has secured a spot in the Eliminator round of 8 with back-to-back wins at Charlotte and Kansas.

"I really believe that if we can make it through this round, we have three great tracks coming up that we can move on all the way to Homestead and do something we didn't do previous year and possibly something I've never done before, and that's win a Sprint Cup championship (all four of the Gordon's titles came under the Winston Cup banner)". "There was only room for one". The final spot is based upon order of points scored in the three races. He will try to make the best of it this weekend, carving pumpkins with his daughters on Saturday before facing the demands that await on Sunday. This beastly track has been rough on him.

Kenseth, who has been fast at most tracks this year, said his chances of getting the win will depend on the kindness or rudeness of others. "My first real thought is, 'Don't wreck.' And if we can get through this race without wrecking, we'll have a really good day".

This will be the sixth race in the 10-race chase with the field to be cut one more time, to four, after the ninth race in the series.

That is the challenge in this format, but so long as Talladega has this kind of placement in the Chase, it will be the talk of the week-and the entire round-until the plate cars get put in the garage and don't resurface until February. It's exactly what NASCAR wanted.

Said Kenseth: "I think somebody trying to keep their position if they're leading a race, that's their job to try to get in the lane you're in, especially when you're not even up alongside of somebody".