Kevin Harvick: “I saw programs sitting up on the counter. It had a picture of all those young guys on it. I picked it up, I threw it on the floor and I walked out of the trailer.”
The NASCAR veterans vs NASCAR rookies debate has been here all season. But, the discussion, it’s been amplified with good reason.
There’s no question that NASCAR marketing materials featuring an overwhelming number of the rookie drivers. It’s not just the sanctioning body. It’s across the board in track promotions, merchandise promotion and TV promotion. To date, that exposure hasn’t been justified.
Kyle Busch was the first veteran driver to be vocal against it. He spoke up during the NASCAR media day ahead of Daytona
Every single regular season race this year has been won by a driver with eight or more years of NASCAR experience. Yet, the programs sure don’t reflect that statistic.
“The whole ‘young marketing program’ has inspired a few of us to give it a little extra kick in the butt. Just because of the fact that you don’t really like it,” Kevin Harvick stated.
“When I went to Dover, I went out to my souvenir trailer and I saw programs sitting up on the counter. It had a picture of all those young guys on it. I picked it up, I threw it on the floor and I walked out of the trailer.”
“I told Chris from Fanatics, ‘I can’t believe that they keep putting this on the cover. It’s your home track for your champion. You’ve got 8-9 young guys sittin’ on the the cover of your program. And you’ve got 1 total win between all of them. Where’s Martin Truex? Your defending champion at his home race track.’ ”
“I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I was pissed.”
This transition has happened before. In fact, Harvick himself was a part of the last swing. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards all came in at the same time and pushed a generation out of good race seats.
“I look at my generation of guys. It really locked a generation of racers out of NASCAR racing. There was so many good seats filled that it almost locked that middle generation of guys out.”
“But, it’s under much different circumstances now. The expectations seem to be so much different about when you should get in a car. But, the good guys always seem to rise to the top. I think Kyle Larson is our most recent example of that.”
“In the end, you gotta win. I think there’s a few examples of that and when it happens they just wind up right in Cup. Carl Edwards is another example of that. How long do you give these guys that are in Cup and haven’t won? When do you give another guy a chance who’s won in the Xfinity car? It’s a tough spot to be in.”