The NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 came to an end at the Charlotte Roval on October 10. Kyle Larson won his seventh race of the season, but his victory became less of a focal point. The reason is that the Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott drama resurfaced.
While the two drivers had not had any issues on the track since some arguments and a closed-door discussion Bristol Night Race, Harvick reignited the feud with a push. The broadcast did not initially show the collision that destroyed the rear of Elliott’s stock car. The cameras simply showed the No. 9 with a crumpled back end. However, the NBC crew went to a replay and revealed that Harvick had actually hit Elliott from behind and sent him into the wall.
The crew went through the footage multiple times and listened to the incident. Jeff Burton made the comment that Harvick was aggressively in the throttle and that Elliott viewed the collision as intentional. The broadcast crew also tried to determine if the driver of the No. 9 had purposely turned to the left in order to get immediate payback on Harvick or if he had lost control after contact with Cole Custer.
The conversations continued for the remainder of the race, especially after Elliott’s crew chief said “If we get a chance to wreck him, that’ll lock us in” over the scanner. The driver of the No. 9 responded with “Don’t you worry.” Spotter Eddie D’Hondt also responded by saying that a wreck was “going to happen,” per reporter Dustin Albino.
The Retaliation Did Not Take Place Due to a Stunning Crash
The continuing drama between Harvick and Elliott continued to dominate the conversation for the majority of the final stage, leading to a moment where the driver of the No. 9 pulled within reach of the No. 4. However, Elliott did not retaliate due to a surprising incident.
The NBC cameras focused on potential fireworks, only to show Harvick lock up the wheels and slam nose-first into the wall. He destroyed the front end of the stock car, which caught on fire and officially ended his day. The caution flag waved while the safety crew worked to get Harvick out of his stock car.
The incident, which the No. 9 team called “karma” over the radio, sealed Harvick’s fate. He fell below the playoff cut line while Elliott and Brad Keselowski overtook him for the final spots. The elimination marked the first time since the current format began in 2014 that Harvick did not at least reach the Round of Eight.
Harvick Made a Simple Statement About the Crash
The driver of the No. 4 briefly spoke to PRN after his release from the infield care center. Alan Cavanna asked him if the contact that sent Elliott into the wall was payback. Harvick’s response was simple and to the point. “You remember Bristol,” he said before ending the interview.
NBC also asked Harvick about the collision, asking if it was payback. He looked down at his firesuit before answering. “Sometimes, real life teaches you good lessons,” he said before walking away.
NBC caught up with Elliott after the race. The defending Cup Series champion also faced questions about the incident on the track and whether he can race around Harvick during the remaining four races in the 2021 season. Elliott said that he and his team are “eyes forward.” Though he also took a quick shot at his peer.
“As far as Kevin goes, just want to wish them a merry offseason and a happy Christmas,” Elliott said with a straight face. He added that his opinion of Harvick is “certainly not changing” and that he is glad that he is moving on in the playoffs.
There is no clear answer as to whether this feud is complete. Elliott says he will look ahead to Texas while Harvick did not answer. However, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick weighed in and told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press that he hopes NASCAR steps in and stops the feud because crew chiefs can only do so much.
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