Harvick apologizes for post-race tirade
October 27, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Less than 24 hours after citing his displeasure with "punk-ass kids" at Richard Childress Racing as the reason for his departure at year's end, a contrite Kevin Harvick expressed regret on Sunday morning, but also said he hadn't spoken with RCR teammate Ty Dillon.
"I think there was just a lot of emotion involved," Harvick said on FOX Sports 1's NASCAR RaceDay after his post-race comments in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. "I hate it for everybody at RCR. You go back and look at the things that happened, and sometimes you regret the things that you say for sure.
"Yesterday was definitely one of them. I hate it for my guys, and everybody working on the cars. Obviously, when those emotional situations come about; you say things that you really don't want to say. I just want to apologize to all of those guys, work hard today and try and do everything we can to win the race."
Harvick, who was parked by NASCAR for a premier series race in 2002 at Martinsville after an incident that day with Joe Gibbs Racing's Coy Gibbs in a Truck race, noted his frustration with getting spun at NASCAR's smallest track, the .526-mile Virginia bullring. He hoped to earn his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Martinsville in his 25th start at the track in Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
"You never want to be in a situation like we're in, and obviously, the short-track racing and everything that happened, you try to do the right things, and yesterday I didn't do the right thing," Harvick said. "We just have to do what we have to do today to put ourselves in a position to be as successful as we can."
When asked whether he had spoken with the grandson of his owner, Richard Childress, Harvick said he thought cooler heads should prevail before discussing the events of Saturday. He also accepted responsibility for his actions.
"I think it's best for all of us to just cool down and have a sensible conversation about things that are going," Harvick said. "I wish that's what I would have done yesterday. It's one of those situations that you don't want to be a part of, but I don't have anybody else to blame but myself."
Mike Dillon, RCR's vice president of competition and the father to Ty and Austin Dillon, said Sunday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he thought it was up to the individuals involved to sort things out and that he felt the incident would be "over with in a couple of days."
"I don't know how to respond, really. There's going to be some people upset with people after this race today, and you're going to run into each other on the track. Being professionals, how you respond to things, it just shows what you are, what you've got inside. It's all good. We'll go on to something else next week. ... It'll be somebody else upset with somebody next week.
"Me going back and forth or whatever with all that, there's nothing positive about it so I think we'll just roll on and we're going to do our thing and try to go out here and win races. We got a championship to win here. We're only 26 points out, and that's the main focus of all our guys at the shop."
Harvick has run for RCR in NASCAR's premier series since the second race of 2001 following the passing of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500. Next season, the Bakersfield, Calif. native will drive the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing.