Just when NASCAR fans thought things were heating up and getting good in the ongoing feud between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick, the organization has intervened and sent a stern message to both camps. No more. It’s over. Move on. And if not, there will be a severe price to pay.
Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick feud continues at Charlotte
After several incidents late in the race at Bristol, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott had a pair of face-to-face heated discussions on pit road and in the garage area near the haulers. In one of the exchanges, the 2014 Cup Series champion threatened the current champion with retaliation.
For weeks nothing happened.
Then on Sunday at the Charlotte Roval, Harvick waited until the final stage and delivered what appeared to be a season-ending blow to the Hendrick Motorsports car. Not to be denied, Elliott’s team managed to repair the car, return it to the track, and keep up with the field. A late caution due to his bumper cover falling off on the track undoubtedly helped the cause.
In a strange turn of events, Harvick crashed on his own, ending his race and playoff hopes, while Elliott limped across the finish line and advanced to the Round of 8.
NASCAR warns both parties about ‘serious consequences’ if feud continues
Days after the initial incident at Bristol and before the race at Las Vegas, reports surfaced that NASCAR had spoken with both drivers about the conflict. The contents of that conversation never came to light. Whatever the governing body said didn’t prevent Harvick from dumping Elliott.
According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, after the latest chapter of the ongoing feud, NASCAR has once again spoken with the No. 4 and No. 9 teams. In a call with 10 members from the two racing organizations, NASCAR made it clear in no uncertain terms that there would be no more incidents in the future. Any such action would result in “serious consequences.”
Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson confirms NASCAR has ‘had enough’ and ‘they’re over it’
After the initial AP report, Chase Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson made an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and provided further clarification on what NASCAR said to the teams.
“In my opinion, what NASCAR does is they take the stance, and the stance I agree with, is they try to allow the competitors to compete and the competitors to be the ones who determine the outcome of the races and let the competitors take care of it on their own,” Gustafson said. “And I think that’s the way it should be. The story shouldn’t be NASCAR. It should be about the competitors racing and doing the best that they can to compete and be the best that they can be.
“The message that NASCAR has delivered is they tried to do the best job they could do in allowing it to happen, and they’re over it. Yeah, whatever way you want to look at it from there, but I think I commend them for allowing us to race, but I think they’ve had enough. They made that pretty clear.”
Is it over? It is until one of them decides it’s not. And the fans will be just fine with that.