There’s clearly no love lost between Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick as the two tangled in Sunday’s rain-delayed AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Just after a restart on Lap 262 of 334, Dillon and Harvick were racing hard for position in the top-five when Dillon pulled up in front of Harvick and Harvick tagged Dillon’s No. 3 from behind and sent him into the outside wall.
When Harvick was still at Richard Childress Racing several years ago, he made some disparaging remarks about Austin and his brother, Ty, following an incident in a Truck series race at Martinsville, Va.
“He sucked down on my door tighter than anybody had all night. He knew how tight he was at my door, that’s why I slid up in front of him,” Austin said in the garage. “He didn’t check (up). He had the opportunity to.
“He didn’t like it that the silver spoon kid was outrunning him tonight, so we’ll be alright. We’ve got two weeks left. We just want to come out and win a race.”
Dillon’s crew chief, Slugger Labbe, told his driver than he “needed to get mad.”
“He flat-out wrecked you, man,” Labbe said over the team radio. “Mark down that number.”
Harvick, for his part, said the move wasn’t intentional and immediately headed to pit road for tires and fuel. “He (Dillon) checked up in front of me,” Harvick said.
In the October Truck race at Martinsville, Harvick and Ty Dillon tangled under caution.
“The 3 (of Dillon) just dumped me,” Harvick said at the time. “Exactly the reason I'm leaving RCR because you've got those kids coming up and they've got no respect for what they do in this sport and they've had everything fed to them with a spoon.”
Harvick would go on to finish sixth in the rain-shortened race. "I just want to apologize to the No. 3. That is not anything that I wanted to see," he said after the race.
Told of Labbe's comments, Harvick added, "Slugger says a lot of things that he shouldn't. There was no intent there. I like racing with Austin. I like the racing that they do.
"There was no reason - I was running seventh or sixth, we were on a restart there and he slid up and got loose and I hit the back of him."