NASCAR attempted last week to end the playoff feud between drivers Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick.
The two have been going back and forth the past several weeks. There was contact on the track and then an intense quarrel afterward at Bristol, followed by an intentional crash on the road course at Charlotte. NASCAR finally stepped in and issued multiple warnings ahead of Sunday’s playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.
It conducted a conference call Wednesday with both drivers, their crew chiefs, car owners and manufacturer representatives to warn of severe consequences if they didn’t squash their beef.
Elliott made it to the Round of 8 while Harvick lost his chance at qualifying for the Championship 4 race at Phoenix. Elliott enters the round in sixth place, two spots below the cutoff line but also just two points from safety. He trails first-place driver Kyle Larson by 43 points. Elliott can secure a spot in the Championship 4 with a win at Texas.
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SN looks back at the recent exchanges between Elliott and Harvick:
Elliott vs. Harvick at Bristol
The feud started in the Round of 16 elimination race, the Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Harvick passed Elliott with 35 laps to go on the half-mile track after Elliott led for 129 laps in the race. Harvick’s car made contact with Elliott’s car and cut down Elliott’s left front tire. Forced to pit, Elliott went down three laps while Harvick held the lead.
Once he returned to the track, Elliott was quick to retaliate.
After gaining one lap back, Elliott stayed in front of Harvick and blocked him. Kyle Larson, Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, crept past Harvick with three laps to go and then drove away with the win. Elliott had forced Harvick into a second-place finish. Elliott finished 25th.
After the race, Harvick parked his car on the back bumper of Elliott’s car on pit road. The drivers stormed out of their cars and immediately got into a heated exchange.
Harvick later mocked Elliott’s move and expressed his anger at the Chevrolet driver during a postrace interview. The crowd was booing the Ford driver, to which Harvick responded, “They can boo all they want. I don’t care.”
Elliott responded by saying that battling with the 45-year-old Harvick is nothing new.
The confrontation didn’t end on pit road. Harvick slammed his helmet on the roof of his car and met up with Elliott again near the haulers.
Harvick would wait until the final race in the Round of 12, the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, to deliver payback.
Elliott vs. Harvick at Charlotte
In Stage 3 of the elimination race on Charlotte’s roval course, Harvick ran into Elliott from behind and caused Elliott to wreck. The damage to Elliott’s car included his bumper, which eventually fell off on the track.
Elliott’s team was again forced to make repairs, but Elliott rallied to a 12th-place finish and advanced to the Round of 8. Harvick, meanwhile, cost himself a chance at progressing in the playoffs when he crashed into the Turn 1 outer barrier with 11 laps to go.
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There were no physical exchanges following the crash, but Harvick did offer a few parting words during a postrace interview:
“Sometimes life teaches you good lessons.”
Elliott, meanwhile, wished Harvick and his team a “merry offseason a happy Christmas.”