Kevin Harvick vs Chase Elliott: What was said after NASCAR Bristol incident?

Jake Nichol September 19, 2021
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Tempers flared at Bristol in the NASCAR Cup race on Saturday night as Kevin Harvick vs Chase Elliott on pitroad after the race overshadowed the event. What happened between the two, and what was said afterwards?

What caused Kevin Harvick vs Chase Elliott argument in NASCAR Bristol?

Elliott’s #9 Chevrolet Camaro had fought its way back from the rear of the field for a speeding penalty to lead at Bristol.

Deep in the third stage, Harvick came up behind the leader in an attempt to pass in his #4 Ford Mustang.

He managed to slip past Elliott, but contact was made as he did so.

Elliott was pushed up into the wall, pitting shortly after for a flat tyre.

Once he had pitted, Elliott rejoined the track, pointedly bumping Harvick’s car as he went past.

And there Elliott sat for the rest of the race – just in front of leader Harvick.

Elliott’s rearguard defensive job allowed his Hendrick teammate Kyle Larson to close the gap to Harvick.

With just three laps of the 500 to run, Larson got by Harvick, clinching his sixth win of the season.

Harvick was second, as Elliott finished 25th – three laps down.

Once both cars had returned to the pits, Harvick pulled up behind Elliott, before the two confronted each other on pitroad.

No physical violence, aside from the odd shove, ensued as they sought to work out their differences.

The two later went into Elliott’s hauler to continue their discussion in private.

What were Harvick’s thoughts on NASCAR Bristol incident?

“I just told him it was kind of a chicken **** move that he did there at the end,” explained Harvick on pitroad.

“We were racing three wide for the win at Bristol, and he throws a temper tantrum.

“I was just trying to race him hard for the lead and then he goes in front of me and just sits there until I lose the whole lead.

“To be able to lose a race like, I watched him let the #24 [William Byron also of Hendrick] go by and anytime you run into him (Elliott) it is a problem.”

Harvick also stated he was ready to “rip somebody’s freaking head off,” having lost his first Cup win since the 2020 Bristol night race – now 36 races ago.

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

What about Elliott?

For his part, Elliott was unapologetic about blocking Harvick after the incident.

“It is something he does all the time.

“He runs into your left side constantly at other tracks and sometimes it does cut down your left side [tyre], other times it doesn’t.

“He did it at Darlington a few weeks ago because he was tired of racing with me.

“Whether he did it on purpose, it doesn’t matter, at some point you got to draw the line

“I don’t care who he is or how long he has been doing it, I will stand up for myself and my team

“I just ran my line and am super happy for Kyle [Larson]

“He’s had a great year and deserves all his success.”

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Does Harvick vs Elliott incident affect the Playoffs?

Fortunately for both drivers, their incident did not affect their hopes of making it through to the next round of the Playoffs.

Both Elliott and Harvick had already clinched progress to the Round of 12.

Harvick had done so at the end of stage two, while Elliott only needed a 34th place finish.

This was secured early in the final stage when another car dropped out meaning the #9 would finish at least 34th.

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.