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:
Harvick said a cat just ran out in front of him. Might've used all nine of its lives as Harvick is P1.— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 31, 2014
🐱? MT @ESPNNASCAR: Harvick believes he saw a cat run in front of his car; it may have been a squirrel that's been spotted earlier.— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 1, 2014
Now our @RacingGuy tells us he can see the little guy. It was a squirrel. Probably a pretty scared squirrel right now.— PRN (@PRNlive) September 1, 2014
Imagine what that ol squirrel was thinking as Harv barreled down on him...— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) September 1, 2014
No confirmation on if this is the same squirrel from “Christmas Vacation.”— AtlantaMotorSpeedway (@amsupdates) September 1, 2014