CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Matt Kenseth has been suspended for the next two races for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in an act of retaliation that threatens to affect who wins the NASCAR championship.

The penalty was levied Tuesday. NASCAR also put him on probation for six months.

Kenseth was nine laps down Sunday at Martinsville Speedway when he deliberately drove Logano into the wall. The crash was payback for Logano wrecking Kenseth three races ago in an incident that ultimately led to Kenseth's elimination from NASCAR's playoffs.

Logano was dominating at Martinsville and a victory would have earned him a spot in the final four. After the wreck, he is now last in the eight-driver field with two races remaining to earn a bid into the title-deciding finale on Nov. 22.

Executive vice president official Steve O'Donnell says Kenseth's actions "have no place in NASCAR."

NASCAR also fined Danica Patrick $50,000 after she wrecked David Gilliland as payback for an earlier incident in the same race.

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