Kevin Harvick heated after a mid-race accident triggered by Matt Kenseth.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kevin Harvick put Matt Kenseth on notice at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.
Harvick told reporters following the Goody’s 500, "He will not win this championship. I can promise you that."
On Lap 228, Kenseth bounced off the back of Denny Hamlin, slowed and wheel-hopped, then clipped Harvick and sent the No. 4 Chevy spinning into the wall in Turn 2. Tony Stewart was also collected in the melee but recovered and finished fourth.
Harvick was forced to retire to the garage for repairs and didn’t return until 40 laps later. He restarted in 40th, 41 laps off of the pace.
I definitely thought that we had worked our way into where we needed to be, in a good position, and wound up back in the fence.
"I definitely thought that we had worked our way into where we needed to be, in a good position, and wound up back in the fence," Harvick said.
Payback's a ...
Harvick, who started 33rd moved up into the top 10 on Lap 113. When Harvick returned to the track, he brake-checked Kenseth “four or five times” according to the driver of the No. 20, who added, “he’s trying to knock my radiator out.”
Kenseth salvaged a sixth-place finish and is currently fourth in the point standings.
I totally get it. He knows it was a mistake, too, but that doesn’t really help him.
“I don’t blame (Harvick) for feeling that way, honestly,” Kenseth said. “It was a mistake – he was an innocent bystander and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I totally understand how he feels and I totally understand why he would say that.
“I totally get it. He knows it was a mistake, too, but that doesn’t really help him. I don’t really blame him. He got taken out of the race for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Harvick finished 33rd. Although he tried to take the situation in stride, he was clearly frustrated.
“The good thing about this format is you have two more weeks and two race tracks that we can win on," Harvick said. "Everybody was so worried about us starting in the back and we wrecked at the front. Unfortunate.”
Harvick fell to eighth in the point standings with only Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway to determine the final four drivers that transfer to Homestead-Miami Speedway to contend for the Sprint Cup. Harvick won at Phoenix in March, but if he doesn't make it to Homestead, his strategy for Kenseth is pretty clear cut.
Yeah, he won’t win this championship.
“Yeah, he won’t win this championship," Harvick added. "If we don’t, he won’t.”
A tough pill to swallow
Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers tweeted after the race:
To clarify his sentiments, he added: