Rick Hendrick will look to NASCAR to try and defuse the situation between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick after their feud continued Sunday at the Charlotte Roval.
“I think they’re the only ones that can really stop it,” Hendrick said. “I hope they do because the crew chiefs and everybody can do the best they can, but it’s up to the drivers themselves. I’ve been in this situation before. NASCAR can handle it.”
The second elimination race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs was a roller coaster for Hendrick. One driver, Kyle Larson, celebrated in Victory Lane after a long day of overcoming alternator issues, and reigning series champion Elliott also advanced into the next round. However, William Byron and Alex bowman were eliminated.
But it was Elliott and Harvick who were the main talking points. The two tangled again, and it put Elliott in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs.
Harvick spun Elliott on lap 55 in Turn 7, which resulted in significant damage to the rear-end of Elliott’s Chevrolet. Elliott drove a mangled car the rest of the race and rallied from as deep as 37th in the field to finish 12th. The bumper cover from his car also came off to cause a caution on lap 87.
Harvick was knocked out of the race on lap 99 when he crashed into the Turn 1 barriers. Locking up the tires going into the corner, coincidently, as Elliott ran two spots behind him, Harvick couldn’t turn his Ford Mustang and was along for the ride as the car went straight. The crash also knocked him out of the playoffs.
Elliott and Harvick have been on bad terms since last month when they clashed at Bristol Motor Speedway. The two didn’t see eye-to-eye on the contact during the race that cut down Elliott’s tire, and then Elliott’s actions when he came back on the track multiple laps down. Neither acknowledged if things were settled after the Roval.
“I think they’ve handled it well,” Hendrick said of Elliott and his team. “Of course, they were upset. Everybody was upset when that happened (Sunday). It looked like Chase could be done and out of the playoffs. It was a lot of heated feelings.
“Harvick wrecked himself, I guess. I hope it’s over. We don’t want to race that way. We want to just race. That’s not our style. Just go out, and if a guy is better than you, he wins. Just do your job. If you get beat, you get beat. It never feels good to push somebody out of the way. A little rubbing or something, that’s okay. But just to wreck somebody, that’s not good.”
HARVICK GOES STRAIGHT INTO THE TURN 1 WALL. pic.twitter.com/aB78hjRIst
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 10, 2021
NASCAR officials did speak to Elliott and Harvick after their Bristol clash. During his Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Scott Miller said they would circle back on things after the Roval but wasn’t sure if officials would speak with the two either together or individually.
“But we don’t need that continuing on, and we will do what we think is necessary to get that one calmed down,” Miller said.
Miller said a last resort would be parking a driver. It’s something NASCAR doesn’t want to do and have the fans unable to see their favorite driver. However, they will continue to monitor the situation.
“Hopefully, we can put a truce in place there,” Miller said. “If we keep seeing things, then we’ll absolutely have to take some sort of action there.”