NASCAR confirmed it had a call with members of both race teams after Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott’s latest run-in during Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford sent Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet into a slide on Lap 55 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12 elimination race, resulting in heavy damage to the back end of Elliott’s vehicle. Elliott expressed frustration over his team radio but rallied for a 12th-place finish and advanced into the Round of 8 instead.
Meanwhile, Harvick later exited the race 11 laps short of the finish when he crashed into the wall in Turn 1, thus ending any chances of playoff advancement. When asked if his nudging of the No. 9 was in retaliation for an earlier incident between the drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway, Harvick told NBC, “Sometimes real life teaches you good lessons.”
Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Elliott, shared some detail with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Danielle Trotta and Cup Series driver Corey LaJoie regarding the nature of the call.
“They try to allow the competitors to compete and the competitors to be the ones to determine the outcome of the races and let the competitors take care of it on their own,” Gustafson said. “I think that’s the way it should be, right? The story shouldn’t be NASCAR, it should be about the competitors, racing and being the best they can be.
“The message that NASCAR has delivered is they tried to do the best job they could do in allowing it to happen and they’re over it. Whatever way you want to look at it from there, but I think … I commend them for allowing us to race, but I think they’ve had enough. They made that pretty clear.”
In his post-race interview with NBC, Elliott said of Harvick: “As far as Kevin goes, just want to wish them a merry offseason and a happy Christmas.”
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday the sanctioning body was keeping an eye on things and planned to talk to both of the teams.
“Now we’ve had Bristol, which one felt slighted on, and obviously (Sunday), which the other feels slighted on, so hopefully we can put a truce in place there,” Miller told SiriusXM. “But we will just continue to monitor the situation and try not to let it get out of control. We don’t want to park anybody. We want all the fans to see the drivers that they came out to see, so that’ll try to be a last resort. If we keep seeing things, then we will absolutely have to take some sort of action there.”