Friday, May 20, 2011

Kyle Busch "forgives and forgets" Kevin Harvick incident

A product of "Boys, have at it?"
Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR
"Boys have at it!" It’s a mantra that has been echoed over and over since NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton voiced the phrase during a press conference at the beginning of the 2010 season. An entire series of rivalries, retaliations, war of words, and even a few physical confrontations have been attributed to the “Boys, have at it” philosophy NASCAR claims to have adopted. Though no clear boundaries have been set, NASCAR continues to promise that they are going to have a looser reign on the drivers than ever before.

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick may not agree. On the heels of a rivalry that points to a beginning at Homestead-Miami Speedway of last season but most likely stems further than that, the two were in a head-to-head fight for position at Darlington Raceway earlier this month when chaos ensued (as is known to happen at Darlington). After a few taps from Harvick on the bumper of Busch’s car, the two made contact while three-wide with Harvick’s teammate Clint Bowyer. Bowyer spun down to the inside and hit the inside retaining wall. The yellow flag flew, and replays show Busch turning left into Harvick’s right rear bumper and sending him into the outside wall causing significant damage.

After the checkered flag flew, Busch and Harvick chased each other around the entrance to pit road before parking randomly inside with Harvick in front of Busch. Harvick got out of the car and began walking over to Busch who was still sitting in his car. Busch gassed the No. 18 machine into the back of Harvick’s No. 29 car as Harvick reached in to attempt to strike Busch. Busch hit the No. 29 car with such force that the No. 29 car veered left and straight into the pit road wall. Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler following the incident, and were later fined $25,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until June 15th.

A war of words between the two drivers ensued for the next week and into Dover, with Kevin Harvick even posting on Twitter, “This isn’t over yet.”

As the series heads into the Sprint All-Star Race weekend, both drivers again assessed the situation. Busch briefly touched on the situation saying, “I’ve forgiven and forgotten.”

“My priorities are to go out on the race track and race everybody as hard as I can, as clean as I can and do my job to try to win races,” said Busch. “The things that happen on the race track sometimes when you get into somebody and wrinkle some sheet metal and hurt some feelings—it’s a part of NASCAR racing and has been for years.”

Whether Harvick feels the same way or not is unclear.

“I’m still unclear as to whether I’m on probation or not,” said Harvick. “We’ll just go race and see what happens.”

Most likely, there won’t be any incident between these two drivers until they are in the clear with NASCAR. Just keep your eye out for these two after June 15th.

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