The sanctioning body of stock car racing has weighed in on the ongoing feud between Cup Series champions. NASCAR officials have said that they could take action if there is no truce between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott in order to prevent further issues on the race track.
Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition, appeared on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, October 11 to address the drama between the two drivers that resurfaced at the Charlotte Roval. Miller said that sitting both drivers down to talk to them again is a possibility. NASCAR previously met with Harvick and Elliott after their altercation at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I don’t know if we’ll have them together or talk to them individually to see where they are right now, but we don’t need that continuing on, and we will do what we think is necessary to kind of get that one calmed down,” Miller said during his October 11 appearance, as transcribed by NBC Sports.
He continued and explained that NASCAR does not want to park either driver. Miller recognizes that fans want to see specific drivers when they head to the track, so this punishment will be the last resort. “If we keep seeing things then we absolutely will have to take some sort of action there,” he added.
The Feud Kicked Off at Bristol Motor Speedway
The race at the Charlotte Roval featured collisions and strong comments from both drivers, but the feud actually began during the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 18. This Round of 16 playoff race included a cut tire, an argument on pit road, a closed-door discussion, and Harvick alleging that Elliott manipulated the outcome of the race.
The incident began during the final stage. The two drivers raced next to each other and made contact multiple times. Harvick cut Elliott’s tire with 35 laps remaining, sending the No. 9 Chevrolet to pit road and dropping it off of the lead lap.
Elliott returned after a stop, hit the side of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, and moved it up the track. He proceeded to keep his stock car in front of Harvick, opening the door for Kyle Larson to make a pass and steal the win.
The two drivers faced off on pit road and engaged in the first of multiple arguments. They continued their back-and-forth by the haulers while reporters stood nearby before ultimately going behind closed doors.
The feud did not stop after the discussions at Bristol and the subsequent talk with NASCAR officials. The two drivers still made some pointed comments about the situation to a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick, in particular, alleged that Elliott manipulated the outcome of the race and compared discussions with his fellow driver to those with his 9-year-old son.
“It was like talking to [son] Keelan,” Harvick said about his post-race discussion with Elliott, per Fox Sports writer Bob Pockrass. “It’s identical. It’s 100% the exact same scenario. They get hung up on one thing and you can’t speak to them about the broader picture about how the whole thing works. It was like speaking to a 9-year old.”
The Issues Resurfaced Suddenly at the Charlotte Roval
Following the comments at Las Vegas, the two drivers appeared to avoid any further issues. However, the feud was simply dormant. It resurfaced with a fury at the Charlotte Roval, starting with Elliott hitting the wall.
Harvick took the first shot, colliding with the rear of Elliott’s stock car and sending it hard into the wall. The collision crumpled the rear of the No. 9 and created doubts about whether it would continue with the playoff race. However, Elliott made minimum speed after some repairs.
The feud continued with the No. 9 team making comments over the scanner about wrecking Harvick to solidify a spot in the playoffs. Elliott nearly had an opportunity to knock Harvick out of the race, pulling up behind him during the final segment. However, the driver of the No. 4 locked up his wheels after making an error entering Turn 1, and he slammed nose-first into the wall. He destroyed the front of his stock car and knocked himself out of the playoffs while Elliott moved to the Round of Eight.
Once the race came to an end, Harvick and Elliott both faced questions about their feud. Harvick responded to a query about his hitting and whether it was payback, simply telling PRN’s Alan Cavanna, “you remember Bristol.”
Elliott, on the other hand, told Cavanna that he secured the most important prize — the opportunity to continue battling in the playoffs. Though he told NBC after the race that he wanted to wish Kevin a “merry offseason and a happy Christmas.”
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