A couple of weeks after first clashing at Bristol, Chase Elliott vs Kevin Harvick kicked off again at the Charlotte Roval. What happened between the two champions, and which one made the Playoffs?
Kevin Harvick gets Bristol payback on Chase Elliott at Charlotte Roval
Pre-race, Elliott’s #9 machine was +9 to the cutline, with Harvick’s #4 operation -9 in the Round of 12 eliminator.
The bad blood between the two has been fostering since Bristol in September – where Elliott blocked Harvick after the #4 gave the #9 a flat tyre.
Elliott scooped stage one honours at the Roval, before the controversial moment came shortly after stage three start.
Exiting the infield section on Lap 56, Harvick found Elliott in front of him, the left-rear quarter panel wide open…
The #4 floored it, noticeable by a visual spike in the audio, and sent Elliott hard into the wall.
The impact destroyed the rear of Elliott’s Chevrolet- and left him seeking revenge on Harvick.
Elliott gets the last laugh after Harvick clash at the Roval
Elliott’s #9 crew were able to make running repairs to the Camaro, but the 2020 champion dropped to the rear such was the extent of the damage.
Evantually, the rear bumper, which had been flailing around came off, with NASCAR throwing the caution.
Despite posting times nearly a second slower than the leaders such was the damage, Elliott found himself right behind Harvick on Lap 100 of 109.
Entering Turn 1, Elliott was to Harvick’s inside, but still a little way back.
Whatever was about to happen, didn’t.
Harvick, looking to avoid a lunge from Elliott locked up the Mustang and sent it straight into the wall.
Race and Playoffs over for the 2014 Cup champion in his 750th start.
Meanwhile, Elliott took 12th place in his patched up Chevy.
He had one word to describe Harvick crashing out: “Karma.”
What did Elliott say about Harvick clash?
“I’m not sure,” he said when asked about the clash on pit-road.
“Just really proud of our team.
“[They] did a really, really good job of fixing this thing. It’s destroyed.
“[My] opinion’s certainly not changing [of Harvick].
“But it’s all good. Just glad we’re moving on. Proud of our team.
“For us, we’re just eyes forward.
“That’s the big picture.
“That’s really all that matters to me and our group.
“We’ll keep fighting, see where we end up.
“As far as Kevin goes, just want to wish them a merry off-season and a happy Christmas…”
Despite the major damage, Elliott qualified for the semi-finals of the NASCAR Playoffs.
The #9 is still in contention for a second successive Cup crown.
And what about Harvick?
After being released from the in-field care centre, Harvick was a little more cryptic and short with his answer.
“Sometimes real life teaches you good lessons.”
For the first time since the current Playoff format was introduced, Harvick has been eliminated in the Round of 12.
After nine wins in 2020, the #4 is still yet to visit Victory Lane in ’21, with the prospect of a first winless season since 2009 growing bigger for the veteran.