At Atlanta, Matt Kenseth Wants To Put Bristol Incident With Tony Stewart Behind Him

Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart spoke before Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway, according to a photo posted by Stewart's public relations Twitter account.

Earlier in the morning, Kenseth said he had tried to speak with Stewart and couldn't connect with the driver, but he planned to try and talk with him about the incident between the two competitors last week at Bristol.

"Honestly, last week I was really surprised," Kenseth said. "I wasn't trying to put our cars in a bad situation. I thought we were gonna make it through there and I thought it was gonna be alright, so I'm not sure what all went down there."

Kenseth said typically – about "99 percent of the time, at least" – he and Stewart show each other more on-track respect than most competitors do for one another.

"There have been a couple instances here and there," he said. "But overall, we try to show each other a lot of respect and we usually get that back."

Earlier in the week, Stewart already indicated he was willing to move on from the incident. He told reporters during a midweek sponsor appearance that he would not specifically seek out Kenseth for retribution (though he initially said he would after Bristol).

"I can promise you, we'll probably go out and race each other like we always do," Stewart said. "When you've got 43 guys every week, you're not always going to agree. You're going to disagree at times. This isn't new. This isn't the first time something has happened like this, and it's not the first time it's happened with Matt. It's never really lingered to the next week."

Kenseth said there have been times when he's "done dumb things or made people mad," and it's never enjoyable to be in that situation. But after the competitors either apologize or agree to disagree, peace can be easy to come by – and is likely necessary to get rid of the distraction.

"The best thing to do is try to get it in your rearview mirror as quick as you can, try to get whatever problem...resolved and move on and go racing," he said. "You don't want to focus on being mad at somebody or somebody being mad at you – because if you are, you're taking focus away from your goal of trying to win races and try to win for a championship."

All that being said, Kenseth said he understands why other people have been entertained by his incident with Stewart.

"I love watching other people's conflicts," he said. "I mean, everybody does. It's human nature. I think fans loved the helmet toss. I thought that was cool, too, although I wish it wasn't being tossed at me, because it meant that he was upset with me."

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