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FRANCKLY SPEAKING: Does Kenseth Have the Martinsville Curse?

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By Lewis Franck

Some people say that karma is something that starts with a b and ends with an itch.
I’d say Matt Kenseth has the Martinsville Curse.
Here’s how it has affected him out so far after since last year’s fall Martinsville race.
NASCAR parked him for two races for hammering Joey Logano’s car into the wall at the Virginia track nicknamed the ‘Paper Clip.’
There hasn’t been much on-track happiness since he returned even though he’s had potential race-winning cars . Although the Wisconsin native finished seventh in last year’s season closer at Homestead Miami-Speedway, this year his best result is 14th at Daytona.
Consider that he was in position to win in the closing laps, planned his strategy and thought he’d take the checkered flag. The problem was his teammate, Denny Hamlin, had a better plan and strong run for the victory.
“We finished terrible,” complained Kenseth, “but that was the move I thought I had to make to try to preserve the win.”
And that’s been his high point so far this year. Moving on to Atlanta and a rare pit stop violation which was his fueler’s fault compounded by a failure of communication between the driver, the spotter and Jason Ratcliff his crew chief resulted in a black flag putting the 2003 Cup champion at least one lap back.
“I got black flagged for some type of pit road penalty and I didn’t know it…” he explained. “This could have been, should have been, a winning car and all he has to show for it was 19th.”
Kenseth led laps 200-209 at Sunday’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway only lose his car and be struck from behind about 25 laps later. His car couldn’t be repaired and he was listed 37th.
Last Sunday I commented, on Twitter, that the driver of the No. 20 Toyota, ironically has, potentially, a race winning car. At the previous two races, through no fault of his own has had a miserable time.
I was wondering what was the problem. And so I tweeted that question. One of my followers told me it was the Martinsville Curse. And no it didn’t having to do with Martinsville franks.
The way I see Logano was entitled to some payback for putting on fender on Kenseths’s car, at the race before Martinsville, to take the win away from Matt.
As a matter of fact after that race in Kansas Logano said he was waiting for retribution. Only no one presaged the extent.
Logano was in position to win that fall race and take home another clock when the lap down Kenseth plowed into the No. 22 into a wall much harder than the tap he received on the previous Sunday.
NASCAR came down with the two-race suspension and if that wasn’t enough Kenseth hasn’t had bit of good luck since then.
It must be the fault of the Martinsville Curse.

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