Animal causes confusion, nearly gets run over

August 31, 2014, Brad Norman ,

Harvick nearly flattens creature; amateur investigation follows

We know the Oral-B USA 500 is a night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It may have well been run under a full moon, given the outright ridiculousness that ensued.

A rogue squirrel was scampering across the track before the start of Sunday's race, to the point that NASCAR sent over a truck to investigate.

The critter would apparently make his presence known during the race as well.

"Whoa, I almost hit a cat," race leader Kevin Harvick hollered over his radio. "A cat just ran right in front of me."

A feline would have surely lost one of its lives, but an at-track investigation (seriously) followed, as did a whole spate of bad puns. The findings? It was most likely a squirrel -- and perhaps the same one from earlier -- that nearly became roadkill.

(Editor's note: Kevin Harvick stuck to his story after the race. "That was a cat, he said. "That would have been a big mess.")

Here's a timeline of tonight's events in tweets: