No mind games

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 01: (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Home Depot "Let's Do This" Toyota, talk in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Home Depot "Let's Do This" Toyota, talk in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
FORT WORTH, TX – NOVEMBER 01: (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Home Depot “Let’s Do This” Toyota, talk in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

FORT WORTH, Tex. –There’s a history of gamesmanship in the Chase, whether it was Denny Hamlin caught in a crossfire between Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson in 2010 or Tony Stewart trying to get under Carl Edwards’ skin in 2011.

Though Johnson and Matt Kenseth are tied for the series lead with three races left in the Chase, don’t expect Kenseth to try to get an edge on the five-time champion this year with anything other than speed on the race track — even if Johnson resorts to mind games.

“It might change from his end if we’re still in it all the way to the end, but I’m just not really into all the head games,” Kenseth said Friday before opening NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Texas. “I’m not smart enough to be in the head games and insults and some of the stuff we’ve seen happen over the last few years. My brain is over capacity already with trying to figure out how to make my race car fast enough to be the best.

“They always say, if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man and he (Johnson) has always definitely been the man. (I’m) really just trying to concentrate on that and trying to figure out how to make our car fast enough to go out and be able to compete with not only him, but the rest of the field each and every week.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.