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Srigley: NASCAR Makes Call to End Harvick, Elliott Feud, But… Why Step In?

Kevin Harvick Chase Elliott feud
Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott have been feuding since the Bristol Night Race. This week NASCAR made a call to put an end to it. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The hands have been dealt, the cards have been played, and…. it looks like the game is officially over.

On Thursday, a report from Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press states that NASCAR hosted a phone call on Wednesday between Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, and the other parties involved in the rivalry between the two NASCAR Cup Series champions, which began at Bristol Motor Speedway in September and carried over to last Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400.

Fryer cites that NASCAR warned all parties of “serious consequences” should the rivalry continue, adding that she was told NASCAR did all of the talking, on a call of at least six people.

The interception by the sanctioning body comes less than one week following the events of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL, where Kevin Harvick appeared to flat-out dump the defending series champion during the final race of the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Of course, Harvick’s ‘plan’ didn’t exactly work out as anticipated, between an incredible rebound by the Hendrick Motorsports team and a late-race accident by Harvick eliminated the No. 4, rather than the No. 9.

After the accident, some comments on the radio of the Hendrick Motorsports team outlined the intent to pay back Harvick if the opportunity presented itself, which it almost did before Harvick overcooked it into turn one, a rare mistake for the veteran driver.

Alan Gustafson – Elliott’s crew chief — can be heard saying: “If we get a chance, we can wreck him and it will lock us in.”

Elliott then replied to his crew chief with: “Don’t you worry.”

Eddie D’Hondt – spotter on the No. 9 — chimed in further with: “Oh, it’s going to happen.”

The radio communications following the accident can be seen/heard on NASCAR on FOX’s Radioactive, around 2:50.


Obviously, the post-race comments weren’t as intense, but they were just as amusing, as both Elliott and Harvick had tongue-in-cheek responses during NBC’s post-race interviews. In fact, Elliott’s response of wishing Harvick and his team a “Merry Offseason and Happy Christmas,” not only made it onto the sign at the Dawsonville Pool Room but also inspired the driver’s newest piece of merchandise.


…But, Why Step In Between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott, now?

So the question remains, why did NASCAR decide to step in and intercept what could have been a potentially captivating rivalry as the series approaches its final four weeks of competition? Well, that’s a good question, that there isn’t necessarily a straightforward answer to.

In the past, NASCAR has had feuds between drivers carry over into the series’ final set of events.

In 2012, Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer in the penultimate race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, after growing frustrations between the pair. At that point, Bowyer wasn’t necessarily in an optimal position to capture the championship but sat 28 points behind eventual champion Brad Keselowski when Gordon decided to take action in the closing laps of the event.

Just three seasons later, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano carried a beef throughout a great deal of the playoffs, starting with contact between the two drivers in the closing laps at Kansas, which eliminated Matt Kenseth’s chance of winning. Things continued to boil over at Talladega after Joey Logano pulled in front of Kenseth entering pit road.

Things progressed even further after Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked Joey Logano – from the lead — at Martinsville, which ultimately hindered his chances of advancing to Homestead. The kicker was that Kenseth had been eliminated from the playoffs the week before, meaning a non-playoff driver had changed the outcome of the playoffs.

There is no guarantee that Harvick has additional retaliation on his mind and no guarantee that he won’t still do it anyway, despite the threat of serious consequences. However, the idea that a situation could occur where a non-playoff driver affects the championship aspirations of a playoff driver – especially being the sport’s most popular driver — probably makes the sanctioning body nervous.

But really, would this phone call have happened if the rivalry was between Harvick and Kyle Busch, or Martin Truex Jr, or any of the other playoff drivers?

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27 Responses

  1. Elliot is just like Gordon and Johnson
    Hendricks team can do no wrong
    Another reason that Nascar is becoming a fraud
    They play the yellow flag issue when they want

  2. nobody is being protected. Its just racin. These guys I bet are all like family when it comes down to it. NASCAR needs to step back and chill, let these guys handle things there own way. Race hard, fight, then have a cold beer.

  3. Nascar would never have said anything if it hadn’t been there golden boy. They said nothing when team ordered ,(over the radio) they ordered Elliott to weck Harvick. They said nothing when chace rode around at half speed blocking Harvick so he couldn’t win and automatically advance. . If it had been anyone else other than their golden boy. They would have black flagged him for that tailpannel flapping in the breeze. Elliott caused that caution but still benefits from that caution that he causes himself. Nascar has always been leanint with Hendrix cars. Started with Gordon and then Johnson and now chace and Larson..

    1. Amen, but I was rooting for him when I watched Nascar. I thought that this was his year.
      But I have always a Chase Elliott fan.

  4. Everyone is saying Nascar is just protecting Elliott, but they’ve always been taking the stance in the playoffs that no one do anything to mess with the outcome of the chase for the title. And what a lot of people miss is when someone does like Harvick did at the roval it not only affects the car he’s going after but other cars are affected too. And it could easily take out a contender for the Championship who’s raced clean all year and is truly deserving of the chance to win the championship and had nothing to do with the incident that started the feud. I’ve pulled for both Harvick and Elliott. And the way I see it enough is enough as far as on track retribution that affects others. They cause teams who can barely afford to run and cause damage to their cars when they had nothing to do with it as well as cost them points & money. I see each of them’s points they both took their shots for revenge. So grow up and move on, or take it off the track and settle it.

  5. Yes Harvick drives dirty when he’s not winning. Always has. He doesn’t like younger drivers showing him up. He needs to let his wife drive

  6. l pulled for Bill Elliott his whole career, but his son is nothing but a crybaby. NASCAR will never do anything against Hendricks.

  7. I concur with Edward that Elliot change the outcome of the race and would not let Harvick pass him and let his teammate pass for the win. Harvick could have dumped him and he didn’t and in my opinion he should have for the win. So now if Harvick does that same thing drives around doesn’t let Elliott pass are they going to Black Flag him I think nascar is two-faced This is BS. Now nascar has turned this into a team fight. Hendrick vs Stewart H… I wish I was driving, I would block Elliot every chance I could. Hay elliot, idiot, Its Merry Christmas, and maybe happy off season you asss wipe. Who the he’ll says Happy Christmas, a nervious punk.

    1. Hey I pulled for both but Harvick tends to be dirty at times then stands back and watch like he has before keep larson out of it that dude can drive a race car hope he wins it all he deserves it

  8. Hey Patrick before you say something about other people’s wordings, you should learn the proper spelling of words before using them in a sentence and punctuation. Hay is for horses and Hey is something you say to get somebody’s attention.

  9. Elliot is a candy wipe. Somebody get this cry baby a baby wipe for his eyes. Chase is not the driver he wants to be. Hes just a silly little cry baby trying to be what he’s not an will never be. Kevin can beat this sissy with his eyes closed. Grow up cry baby or go back an race with the kids were you should be. What a panzy. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.

    1. I was a Bill Elliott fan his whole career, I never understood why he let Chase sign with Hendricks. Maybe he knew that he would be protected by NASCAR by signing up when the golden team. He wouldn’t make a pimple on his dad’s butt

  10. I’m a bit more objective about this. I’m not a fan of either driver. Harvick has for a long time been an instigator and a bully. Recall numerous events where he either pushed, prodded or caused others to fight. He’s in on his way out and his popularity is waning.

    Harvick chose to get into Chase on numerous occasions throughout the years. When Chase retaliated at Bristol for numerous incursions, Harvick wanted to fight. Harvick has always been a whiner, although a good, hard driver he has demanded others give him room when he chooses to push people around. Chase has more clout now in NASCAR, period—-this bothers Harvick as the boos echoed in the stands.

    The incident in Charlotte occured due to the fact that Harvick was retaliating. Unfortunately, Chase had a super fast car and made it back to Harvick who was so engrossed in his rear view mirror full of Elliott, that he ran into the wall;. old man in the mirror mistake.

    In my opinion, Chase still owes Harvick and not the other way around. For Harvick this is a lose lose proposition. He chooses to retaliate he is booed or if he doesn’t he’s remember for trying to wreck the most popular drive escalating his unpopularity in the sport.

    Have at it boys….Chase needs to show all of these old men of NASCAR he can kicked their ass in the car and out of the car.

  11. Here’s a few questions about this. What does GM President Mary Barra and Chevrolet have to say about this? With Harvick and Elliott both Chevy drivers, this is a black eye for Team Chevy and GM. Also, more bad publicity for Hooters (sponsor of Elliott, disgraced NFL coach Jon Gruden also promoted the restaurant) and Subway (who backs Harvick, they’re already in hot water with soccer star/anthem protester Megan Rapinoe, and disgraced spokesperson Jared Fogle)…this really hurts the reputation of Chevy, General Motors, Hooters and Subway…somebody at Chevy/GM/Hooters/Subway better take action about this feud, or Chevrolet’s racing tradition is up in smoke. Also, what does Chase’s dad Bill have to say about this? He should stand up for his son! But believe me: this incident is a black eye for Chevy. Chevy and GM should have a long talk with Chase and Kevin, embarrassing the company (and their employees) like that…Dale Earnhardt Sr. and other late, great legends who drove Chevies are rolling in their graves faster than a NASCAR race…

  12. Elliott is officially a baby punk created by his actions and Nascars protection. You want to play the game play it like a man and don’t hide behind a most popular driver “status” and Nascars fear of upsetting his fans.
    Elliott should be embarrassed by this!

  13. Yep Elliott the idiot punk, need an asss wippen. That will straighten him out. He just never had his asss handed to him. But his daddy gave him everything he didn’t have to work for it. I think then he would appreciate it more. Just ask the Kyle Bush he’s a punk as well. Kurt Bush was a punk but has matured alot. Elliott just needs to be run into a few more times he’ll figure it out.

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