Harvick, Busch agree to disagree about altercation
By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
May 13, 2011 11:37 AM, EDT
DOVER, Del. -- After meeting with NASCAR officials Thursday at Dover International Speedway, Kevin Harvick has more questions than answers about the consistency of the penalties being issued under the current rules.
Harvick said Friday that he's moved on from the post-race incident with Kyle Busch at Darlington last weekend. But even after sitting down and getting a definition of what he can and cannot do while on probation, he admits he's still confused.
If you're going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you're going to spin them out, if you're going to retaliate, what is the penalty? And they didn't tell me a consistent answer.
-- KEVIN HARVICK
"I don't mind wrecking," Harvick said. "I don't mind getting wrecked. I don't mind eye for an eye. I don't mind any of that. But just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is.
"If you're going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you're going to spin them out, if you're going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is. And they didn't tell me a consistent answer."
On the other hand, Busch believes the meeting clarified things in his mind.
"I understand it perfectly, actually," Busch said. "The 'boys, have at it' happens on the race track. They allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. But when matters get taken into the drivers' hands on pit road and innocent bystanders can be injured, NASCAR's going to step in and set penalties the way they feel need to be levied.
"To me, it's not a grey area. It's pretty simple. It's black and white."
As far as discussing the incident with Busch, Harvick said the story keeps changing.
"[Thursday], Kyle's explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway," Harvick said. "It's kind of one lie after another and you see everything that happened after the race, and for me, the way that I was brought up and taught to race, if you hook somebody in the right rear quarterpanel, that's the equivalent of throwing your gloves off in hockey."
To that, Busch wondered if Harvick spent too much time watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn't sure if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him that the car wouldn't spin out the wrong way," Busch said. "Believe that for what it's worth. I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat."
Busch added that it seems like his relationship with Harvick has been contentious from the get-go.
"As far as us getting along, I'm not sure we ever really did," Busch said. "I think he tried. That's why at Homestead, I talked about the two-faced Kevin Harvick. And I believe that's out there. He'll talk to your face like you're best friends, but behind closed doors, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else."
In any case, the focus is on this weekend.
"For me, it's done, it's over with," Harvick said. "We'll move on."
"That's all," Busch said. "I don't care."