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Martinsville President Defends Use of Kenseth/Logano Footage in TV Ad

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The controversial accident between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway last fall happened and track president Clay Campbell will not shy away from it.

In a TV commercial advertising the upcoming STP 500, footage is used of Kenseth intentionally wrecking Logano. The act resulted in Kenseth being suspended for two weeks while Logano failed to advance from the second to last round in the Chase.

It’s why some are upset the track would use the wreck as a promotional tool. But according to Campbell, including it wasn’t a difficult decision.

“Yeah, it stirred up controversy but what do people want me to show, the pace lap? That would be like (the media), you write about the deal after it happened but you can’t do it anymore,” Campbell said on Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame promoting this weekend’s race. “Is that going to sell newspapers? Is that going to sell what you do?

“I get paid to sell tickets. I don’t think that crossed over the line.”

The Kenseth versus Logano storyline was the main topic of conversation throughout the 2015 Chase. After spinning Kenseth from the race lead at Kansas Speedway, the emotion of the 2003 Cup champion continued to boil with how Logano raced him. In Talladega, he felt Logano had cut him off while trying to come to pit road during green flag stops.

Then in Martinsville, Kenseth, who had been running top five, was spun out off Turn 2 in an accident that also involved Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski. With his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota severely damage and multiple laps down, Kenseth drove Logano, who was leading, into the Turn 1 wall.

Campbell referenced other incidents that have also been highlighted throughout the years, such as the fight after the 1979 Daytona 500. While lore has it NASCAR didn’t feel it was good for the sport at the time since it was the first race broadcast flag-to-flag on cable TV, it has been shown over and over since then.

“No, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Unfortunately, somebody did get penalized on it, that was the bad part about it, but we didn’t make a highlight out of that incident. It was just a small blurb of it. Was it a difficult decision, no,” Campbell reiterated. “I wouldn’t be doing my job, and I don’t think anyone sitting in this room would have done anything any different if what I’m paid to do is sell tickets.

“The golden rule is that if there’s an injury or anything like that, certainly you don’t cross over that line. That was a different deal than what NASCAR did with the two drivers; that’s between them. It’s like people saying now you look at a history book and people want to take certain chapters out of it like it didn’t happen.

“That did happen. So you can’t ignore history.”

Campbell said the track will not continue to beat the drum on it, but the incident is part of their legacy.

“I guarantee you as we go down the road, whether it be (that wreck) or whoever, I guarantee we’ll see that time and time again,” Campbell said. “That’ll be a part of history, but there again, I guess some people expect you to take that part of the history book out, and I don’t see it that way.”

EMAIL KELLY AT kelly.crandall@popularspeed.com

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