NASCAR on Chase Elliott-Kevin Harvick feud: ‘We don’t need that continuing’
NASCAR seeks a truce between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick or officials “will do what we think is necessary to kind of get that one calmed down.”
Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition, made those comments Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Harvick ran into Elliott’s car during Sunday’s Cup playoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. The contact sent Elliott’s car into the wall, but he was able to continue and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
Asked if the contact was in retaliation for Bristol, Harvick told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman: “Sometimes real life teaches you good lessons.”
The incident continued a feud that erupted at Bristol in the cutoff race of the opening round of the playoffs. Contact between the two cut a tire on Elliott’s car with 35 laps left in the race as they battled for the lead.
Elliott was upset because Harvick had done that repeatedly to him. Elliott returned to the track after a green-flag pit stop and hit the left side of Harvick’s car and squeezed it up the track. Elliott then kept his car in front of Harvick, who eventually lost the lead and the race to Kyle Larson, Elliott’s teammate.
A week after the incident, Harvick said Elliott’s action “manipulated” the finish of the Bristol race. Harvick also said: “I’m fine with however this whole outcome is, as long as it is officiated the same way when the issue is on the other foot.”
NASCAR talked to both drivers after Bristol. Miller said more conversations are likely.
“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 on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Miller stressed every conflict is different but noted that “we don’t want to park anybody. We want all the fans to see the drivers that they came out to see. That will try to be a last resort. If we keep seeing things then we absolutely will have to take some sort of action there.”
Miller also addressed why NASCAR did not require Elliott to pit and fix the rear bumper cover before it fell off during the race. A rear bumper cover is required on a high-speed oval but not on short tracks and road courses. The Charlotte Roval falls under the road course guidelines.
“We let it play out,” Miller said. “Another thing that factored into it was ... he (wasn’t) in a pack of cars where if it fell off someone was going to immediately run over it. Just like everything we do in the tower, there’s aa lot of things to process and a lot of decisions to be made and that was the one made (Sunday) because of all those factors.”