The two NASCAR drivers had several heated exchanges after the playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway
On Saturday night, Bristol Motor Speedway hosted a playoff elimination race for the NASCAR Cup Series. The 0.533-mile brought the fireworks before the race and again after the race.
In the closing laps, Kevin Harvick got loose under Chase Elliott. As Harvick chased control of his machine up the banking, he right into the door of Elliott. The impact cut down Elliott’s left front tire.
The no. 9 team hit the pit lane under green flag. They re-entered the track, three laps down but right behind race leader Kevin Harvick.
As Elliott passed Harvick to put himself just two laps down, he ran into the door of Harvick. The move of frustration let the race leader know that Elliott wasn’t happy.
Elliott wasn’t done. He rode directly ahead of Harvick in the closing laps. At the same time, Elliott’s teammate Kyle Larson was running down Harvick from over 1 second back.
Harvick struggled in the dirty air. It forced him to search around the track for lanes to pass Chase Elliott, who was much faster on four new tires.
With 4 laps to go, Larson was able to slide Harvick in turn three. With a little contact in turn four, Larson took over the race lead.
Harvick was furious. First, he gave a shot to the rear bumper of Larson into turn one. But, he wasn’t done.
Post race altercation at Bristol Motor Speedway
After the race, Harvick followed Chase Elliott down the pit lane. Both drivers quickly climbed from their machines. Harvick then approached Elliott as Harvick’s helmet remained on.
The two drivers quickly turned to shouting at each other over the roar of the NASCAR fans. Elliott pointed his finger in Harvick’s face.
But, just as soon as the two drivers approached, NASCAR officials and police surrounded the drivers. The officials created a barrier around the drivers and pushed crew members back as they attempted to join in on the discussion.
The two drivers walked away from each other. Harvick then threw his gloves at Elliott. Moments later, a second conversation took place next to the haulers. As reporters surrounded the drivers, they then took the conversation private as they entered the hauler of the No. 9 team.
NASCAR comments on the Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott altercation
On Monday, NASCAR officials reacted to the altercation…
“It’s pretty easy to see when emotions begin to run high out there,” Scott Miller stated via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Everybody, depending on who their favorite driver is, can point blame one way or the other. But, when the racing is as tight as it is, and the stakes are as high as they are, with it being in the playoffs and all that, it’s natural that you’re going to have some heated exchanges after a race.”
“I’m sure there was probably some heated exchanges, elsewhere. But, all of the focus was on the No. 9 and No. 4. We were certainly on high alert as to what might go on there.”
“We had our people around there as quickly as we possibly could when they came to a rest. Definitely heated, but I think they handled themselves as professionals in the aftermath.”
“I know they talked afterwards, away from pit lane and the cameras. It’s to be expected at Bristol.”
Miller was asked if there would be anything to come from the sanctioning body regarding reprimands or communication. He noted the incident is in the rearview.