Kenseth says it’s human nature

Matt Kenseth (R), driver of the #17 Ford Eco Boost Ford talks with Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevrolet in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2012 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth enjoys a good helmet toss as much as anyone else — as long as it’s not directed at him.

But that was the case last Saturday night after Kenseth and Tony Stewart wrecked while fighting for the lead on Lap 332 of the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart climbed from his car and launched his helmet into the nose of Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford as Kenseth was driving down pit road.

“That stuff is always fun to watch, (but) I hate being involved in it,” Kenseth said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I don’t like that part of it, but I always like watching it. I love watching other people’s conflicts. I mean, everybody does. It’s human nature.”

After the incident at Bristol, Stewart promised to run over Kenseth every chance he got for the rest of the season. At a media event on Tuesday, however, Stewart backed off those remarks, citing the heat of the moment as the origin of the threat.

For his part, Kenseth doesn’t seemed worried.

“Honestly, last week I was really surprised,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to put our cars in a bad situation, I thought we were going to make it through there, and I thought it was going to be all right, so I’m not sure what all went down there.

“But, actually, Tony and I, in general — 99 percent of the time, at least — show each other more respect and more room on the track than probably most people have. There have been a couple of instances here and there, but I think, overall, we try to show each other a lot of respect.”

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