Joey Logano on Tuesday echoed earlier concerns from his boss, Roger Penske, that NASCAR should be more clear and consistent in its policies regarding restarts.
Matt Kenseth, who won Saturday night's race at Richmond after leading 352 of 400 laps, accelerated quickly on the final restart with 18 laps to go and sped away from Logano, who had lined up to his outside.
After the race, Penske questioned NASCAR's decision not to penalize Kenseth, whom he suggested jumped the restart. But Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, later told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that NASCAR wants to avoid scrutinizing restarts too closely.
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"We want to leave it in the drivers' hands," O'Donnell said. "If we have to get involved and make those calls with more video, I think we'll do that.''
That solution wasn't enough to satisfy Logano, who on Tuesday told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, "We can't police ourselves.
"We're race-car drivers. Our job is to go out and win the race. We'll take advantage of every opportunity there is," said Logano, seemingly implying that Kenseth pushed the envelope too far at Richmond.
Asked on Tuesday during a promotional stop at Charlotte Douglas International Airport about all the chatter concerning his late-race move, Kenseth was quick to defend himself.
"In my opinion, the leader should always have the advantage, because he's the leader and he's out there leading for 300-some laps, so he should be able to have the advantage," the 2003 Sprint Cup Series champion said. "He earned that, so I don't think that the second-place guy should ever be able to jump and get out in front of the first-place guy.
"So that's the main thing to make a call in my opinion: Are people pulling out of line before the start/finish line and are they making passes there when you clearly can't do that until you cross the start/finish line? I think there's some. I think NASCAR does a good job of officiating, though, and making those rules and not necessarily nitpicking every inch or foot but making sure nobody's out of line and they're following the rules."
Kenseth said NASCAR's no-call was the right one at Richmond, where he scored his fourth victory of the season and Logano finished second.
"Richmond is one of those interesting places that the restart zone, it's on the wall and it's on the inside wall and it's still in the corner," Kenseth said. "On the inside it's here and on the outside it's there. I was looking at the inside wall, and I probably went a few feet before the inside mark. But it was right in the vicinity. I just got rolling a little bit toward it, really. It's not like I jabbed the gas and left him 20 car lengths.
"I just made sure I got rolling so I didn't spin the tires. I think it would be hard-pressed to find anybody, including the people that are probably complaining about it, to say that the fastest car didn't win the race Saturday night. I think we proved that. When you have that late of a caution, I was going to make sure I did everything I could to get to Turn 1 first."
Logano, however, fears that the absence of a more detailed explanation on how NASCAR plans to officiate restarts will lead to more drivers exploiting the alleged ambiguity during the upcoming Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"Chances are the championship will come down to a late-race restart at Homestead, or getting into the next (Chase) round could come down to a late-race restart at any given race track throughout this Chase,'' Logano told SiriusXM.