News & Media

Head2Head: Who crossed the line more: Busch or Harvick?

May 09, 2011, ,

In a series of events you had to see to believe, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick stole the headlines at Darlington with a feud that could only be described as mesmerizing. After some bumping and banging in the final laps of the race, things got crazy immediately following with near fights between crew members, a game of chicken on pit road and a driver-less car slamming into a wall.

Who crossed the line more at Darlington: Busch or Harvick?


While the drama at Darlington was both highly entertaining and somewhat childish, Kyle Busch crossed the line Saturday night with Kevin Harvick and, in my mind, was in the wrong.

After some good, intense racing late in the race, Harvick let Busch know he was unhappy by delivering a love tap to the rear bumper of the No. 18. Harvick then dropped to the inside of Busch, Bowyer followed, and chaos ensued.

After Bowyer spun, Busch turned dead left into Harvick's right rear, sending the No. 29 around and into the wall. It was intentional, and all the fireworks after the race stemmed from that incident.

Here's the thing about Busch and Harvick -- both are extremely stubborn. It's not often you will hear either of them take responsibility for a crash on the track. Both of them are phenomenal drivers, but also very hard-headed.

Bottom line, Busch took exception to Harvick pointing out that he wasn't happy with Busch's racing and Busch decided to take matters into his own hands by sending Harvick into the wall. It was dangerous and completely uncalled for.

Then after the race, you could say Busch took the "high road" by not getting out of his car and getting into a physical altercation with Harvick, but pushing the No. 29 out of the way, allowing the car to careen wildly without a driver, was not a smart decision.

Don't let Busch's smile and openness about the incident fool you, a majority of this lands squarely on his shoulders.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were involved in some sheet metal-bending scraps in the closing laps, and after the checkered flag in Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington. In their aftermath, it's been questioned who "crossed the line," and to what degree.

The field was involved in two restarts in the final nine laps of the race, which went into three laps of overtime thanks to a caution that involved Busch, Harvick and Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer with only two scheduled laps remaining. Harvick initiated most of the initial, multiple contacts between he and Busch, but everything that occurred up to that final caution could be termed totally acceptable "hard racing."

It was what caused the actions that got both Busch and Harvick called to the NASCAR hauler after the race that "crossed the line." The final legitimate contact, between Busch on the outside and Harvick in the middle, caused Harvick to wreck his teammate Bowyer, who was inside him in a sketchy three-wide formation.

Harvick was minding his own business as he moved to the inside of the frontstretch before, just after the start/finish line Busch crossed behind Harvick and hooked the back of his car, causing Harvick to slide toward the outside wall.

Harvick didn't cross the imaginary line until he began playing cat-and-mouse with Busch at the pit entrance, which was childish and bullying at best; and inflammatory at worst. The fact his actions were incited by inappropriate racing, of which he took no part, is no excuse.

Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Both Harvick and Busch were summoned to the NASCAR hauler following the race, and penalties are possible for both drivers. But which driver crossed the line Saturday night? Bill Kimm and Dave Rodman study the tape and give their conclusions. Read their arguments and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the right.