NASCAR driver Chase Elliott doesn’t care less about this confrontation; Kevin Harvick says he’s never been more mad
Two weeks ago, tempers exploded at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick made contact while battling for the lead in the NASCAR Playoffs.
The contact cut Elliott’s left front tire. The no. 9 pitted under green and came back on track, three laps down to race leader Kevin Harvick.
With four fresh tires, Elliott quickly ran down Harvick, grabbing one of his laps back and sideswiping him on the way by. From there, Elliott was the pest that wouldn’t get away from the leader.
With under 5 laps to go, Elliott was working hard to keep race leader Harvick in dirty air. Per SMT data, Elliott was running part throttle, to make sure Harvick was close behind him.
This caused Harvick to burn up his tires as he searched around the track for an open lane to pass Elliott. But, with fresh tires, Harvick wasn’t going to pass Elliott at all, he was just toying with him.
This allowed Kyle Larson to close. He threw a slide job on Harvick, took the lead and the race win. But, the fumes were just starting to fly.
Post race altercation
Before the cars even found pit lane, Harvick was all over Elliott. Harvick followed him down the pit lane. As the two drivers confronted each other, a screaming match followed with the background noise of highly engaged NASCAR fans.
Later on, the two drivers went into Chase Elliott’s hauler for a private conversation. We haven’t heard from either driver since the race at Bristol.
Kevin Harvick comments on Chase Elliott
Ahead of Sunday’s race at Las Vegas, each driver commented…
“It was like I was talking to Keelan,” Kevin Harvick stated of his conversation with Chase Elliott in teh hauler.
Keelan is Kevin Harvick’s son.
“It’s identical, exact same scenario. They get hung up on one thing and you can’t speak to them about the broader picture of how the whole thing works.”
“I mean, it was like speaking to a 9-year-old. So, I have good experience with that. Cause, that’s a daily process. Day in, day out, process,” Kevin Harvick said with a laugh.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been that mad to be honest with you, that’s probably the maddest I’ve ever been,” Harvick said ahead of the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After the initial conversation, Harvick slammed his helmet on the roof of his own car. He glasses narrowly escaped the rage.
“My glasses survived. They almost got smashed, I didn’t even see them there.”
Harvick on racing Chase Elliott
“It was a chicken-shit move. I’d rather be wiped out then have some bullshit like that happen. It was a 9-year-old temper tantrum. Over a situation that was put into place, from the other vehicle that wiped you out.”
“You can’t have it both ways. That’s just not how this deal works. I don’t care if you’re the most popular driver or not. You can’t race everybody, side drafting, bouncing off their doors then slam into them. That stuff all comes full circle in this deal. It has a funny way of teaching you.”
“This is a particular situation where, when you ride on somebody’s door, the inside car’s going to come up the race track because it’s going to get loose. If you do that repeatedly, it happens just like it does for the No. 9, you end up with the sides of your cars torn off.”
“Racing for 8th, you do preventative, defensive driving. And, racing for the lead, you keep the pedal down.”
“Look, it’s the majority of the field that he does it to. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot say, ‘I want to race for 8th’ and then not want to be raced hard for 8th. And you can’t lay on somebody’s door and expect the car to not come up the race track.”
Harvick added, “You chose to put your car in that position. Those choices happen with that particular car a lot.”
Chase Elliott comments on Kevin Harvick after Bristol
Under the same tent, Chase Elliott shared his updated thoughts on the situation:
“I care less about this confrontation then I have for any other ones in the past,” Chase Elliott said ahead of Sunday’s race at Las Vegas.
“I don’t know if that’s just time and being around more. Or focused on the right things a little more. I’m just looking forward to the race and ready to get going.”
“You’re around more and more comfortable with how it works out with the bigger picture in life. Part of getting older and realizing that we do drive race cars for a living.”
“There’s a lot more things out there in the world that are way more important. As I’ve gotten older I see more of that and less of the stuff that doesn’t matter so much.”
Harvick said talking to Elliott was like talking to his 9-year-old son.
Elliott smiled when he heard that, “Everybody has their opinion. Just like me and mine. That’s why we live in America and we’re entitled to it.”