A week ago at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott had multiple on-track incidents that spilled over into face-to-face confrontations on pit road and in the garage area after the race. Both drivers didn’t hesitate in taking shots at the other during postrace interviews.
This week, there’s been quiet from the combatants on the subject. On Sunday, that ended. Before the green flag dropped at Las Vegas, reporters asked the 45-year-old Harvick about the previous weekend’s conflict with the 25-year-old Elliott. The 2014 Cup Series champion didn’t hold back in his criticism of the 2020 Cup Series champion, comparing his behavior to that of his nine-year-old son.
Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott beat and bang at Bristol
Late in the race at Bristol, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson were the three main contenders. Elliott watched his chance for victory disappear when Kevin Harvick ran him up the track, and the resulting contact cutting the No. 9’s left-front tire.
After his pit stop, Elliott returned to the track with payback on his mind. On fresh tires, the reigning Cup champion made his way through traffic, found Harvick, and camped out in front of him for the rest of the race. Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate capitalized, passed Harvick, and held on for the win.
Immediately following the race, the drivers met in a face-to-face confrontation on pit road that included the two exchanging heated words and Elliott pointing his finger in Harvick’s helmet-covered face. Moments later, Harvick said during his postrace interview that the HMS driver made a “chicken-s*** move.”
Elliott unsurprisingly had a different view and indicated it wasn’t the first time the Stewart-Haas driver had slid into his side. He said now was the time to “draw the line” and “stand up for myself and my team.”
Heated conversation carries over into garage area
The pit road dust-up wasn’t the end of it. The two drivers met up again several minutes later in the garage area near the haulers. Several reporters stood within feet of the heated conversation and recorded the action and the audio.
“You don’t race smart,” Harvick told Elliott twice. “Now I’m just going to run you the f*** over.” He repeated that phrase multiple times.
Harvick, unhappy to see the conversation being recorded, confronted The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi, before eventually walking with Elliott to the No. 9 team’s hauler for a private conversation.
Neither driver directly addressed the conflict this week.
Kevin Harvick says Elliott acted like his young son
Before Sunday’s Cup race in Las Vegas, Harvick visited with reporters. When asked his thoughts on last week’s altercation with Elliott, the veteran driver didn’t hold back. He had no hesitation in comparing the young driver’s behavior to that of his nine-year-old son Keelan.
“It was like I was talking. It’s identical, like it’s 100 percent, 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 nine-year-old. So I have good experience with it. Because that’s a daily process. Day-in, day-out process.”
Harvick’s unflinching remarks show this conflict is not over. In fact, it sounds like it just got taken up a notch. And the fans couldn’t be more excited.