In the future, when NASCAR fans look back on the 2021 Cup Series season, there will certainly be a couple of items at the top of the list, including the dominance of Kyle Larson and the feud between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott.
The 2014 Cup champion made a guest appearance on the latest episode of NASCAR Race Hub, where he talked about the addition of a new sponsor in 2022 and then recapped the 2021 season, surprisingly, on his own, bringing up the Elliott situation. It was an interesting conversation, especially when the driver talked about the conflict and one particular moment the fans of the 2020 champion will cherish forever.
Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott feud begins
It started at Bristol in mid-September when Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott had issues on the track late in the race that spilled over into a pair of heated conversations after, including one where Harvick threatened future retaliation.
Nothing happened the following week at Las Vegas during the race; however, before the race, Harvick stirred the pot with his comments, likening Elliott’s behavior the prior week to that of his 9-year-old son Keelan.
“It was like I was talking. It’s identical, like 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 of how the whole thing works,” Harvick said. “It was like speaking to a 9-year-old. So I have good experience with it. Because that’s a daily process. Day-in, day-out process.”
Dumps Elliott and then crashes himself at Charlotte Roval
Following another quiet week on the track at Talladega, many began to question whether Kevin Harvick was all talk with his threat of retaliation. That Sunday at the Charlotte Roval, he definitively answered those questions when early in Stage 3, he wrecked Elliott, severely damaging the No. 9 car and what many believed to be the team’s chance of advancing in the playoffs.
However, in the mother of all plot twists, it wasn’t the Hendrick Motorsports team that would miss the playoffs, but the Stewart-Haas car after Harvick locked his brakes later in the race and ran straight into the wall in an incident many suggested resulted from the No. 4 driver mirror-watching as a fast-approaching Elliott closed to within a few car lengths.
After the race, Harvick admitted his initial move was payback for Bristol. Elliott responded to the incident by wishing Harvick a “merry offseason and a happy Christmas.”
NASCAR officials intervened and met with both drivers and their respective teams the following week and made it clear they had seen enough.
Kevin Harvick surprisingly brings up Chase Elliott situation on NASCAR Race Hub
Since NASCAR’s intervention, it’s been quiet between the two drivers on the track, although there have admittedly been multiple opportunities for incidents with them racing by each other.
This week, Harvick made a guest appearance on NASCAR Race Hub, where he talked about the addition of Gear Wrench as a new sponsor in 2022 and reviewed the 2021 campaign. After talking about how proud he was of his team’s perseverance in the face of adversity and its many struggles throughout the season, Harvick discussed the postseason and surprisingly ventured into territory where no one expected.
“We’ve had a great playoffs,” he said. “You know I kind of screwed up at the Roval and drove the thing straight into the wall.”
“We weren’t even going to bring that up now, but you did,” show co-host Regan Smith interjected, which drew a laugh from the other co-hosts and Harvick.
“There’s no reason not to,” the driver replied. “That video lives forever. That’ll be the Chase Elliott fan club video for the rest of their existence.”
For the first time since that confrontational night at Bristol, Harvick took a different approach, laughing at himself about what had transpired. It’s certainly a way to diffuse the situation, but it also interestingly reveals that Elliott is still on his mind.