By admin | October 27, 2013
By Richard Allen
In case you haven’t heard, Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon didn’t play well together during the Camping World Truck Series race at the Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. Trouble is, the two drivers both race under the umbrella of Richard Childress Racing in one capacity or another…at least for a few more weeks.
On lap 189 of the 200 lap event, it seems as if both drivers considered the same piece of real estate on the paper clip shaped half-mile track to be their own. The resulting tangle set off a chain of events that will no doubt make the remaining few weeks of the 2013 season a bit uncomfortable on the RCR campus.
That level of pending discomfort at RCR was only heightened by the late race and post-race antics and comments of the two drivers as they bumped off of each other on their way back to the pit area and then found the television cameras and microphones. There was even a moment in which Harvick stopped in Dillon’s pit stall, provoking crew members to come after the Sprint Cup regular and even hurl a sledge hammer in his direction.
“He just dumped me,” Harvick said of the spin with Dillon. “Exactly the reason why I’m leaving RCR because you’ve got those kids coming up, and they’ve got no respect for what they do in this sport and they’ve had everything fed to them with a spoon.
“So I cut him slack all day, and he just dive-bombs me in there, dumps me. It’s a shame you’ve got to get taken out by some rich kid like that.”
For his part, Dillon had a lot to say as well.
“He was hogging the bottom, and I just kept diving to the inside,” the grandson of team owner Richard Childress said. “I was low, and he kept chopping down, chopping down. It was getting toward the end of the race and I gave him a tap and he got sideways, but then he hit the brakes to try to brake-check me in the middle of the corner.”
Dillon went on to add, “So he can’t even face me afterward. I’m pretty disappointed in the things that went down. I used to look up to that guy. I guess he doesn’t understand the circumstances of what’s going on. To tear a truck up and act like a punk on pit road. And stopping by my pit stall when my guys are coming out, that was pretty ridiculous. I’m not happy with him. And for him to not even stick around, that’s pretty sad, too.”
There is all kinds of irony in play here. First, for Harvick to call anyone else a punk is the very definition of the word irony. This is a guy who has behaved as badly as any driver in NASCAR history. Just ask Ricky Rudd or Joey Logano or Greg Biffle or Kyle Busch or the NASCAR officials who once benched him from a Sprint Cup race at Martinsville for actions in a trucks race the day before if you want confirmation of that.
The second bit of irony is that Harvick says he’s leaving RCR because he doesn’t like the drivers he would be working with in the future. So, he’s heading for Stewart-Haas Racing to team with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. The Empire State Building might not be big enough to hold all of those egos at the same time.
Yes, the Dillon brothers(Ty and Austin) have had an easier road to the top of the sport than many others. No question about that. Whether that makes them punks is a matter of opinion, I guess. But in my personal dealings with them at the dirt tracks where I’ve encountered them, I have always found both of them to be very accommodating.
Harvick is a passionate driver who doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. That’s what drivers are supposed to be. But he is also a very abrasive personality and to think there suddenly won’t be issues with teammates because he is leaving RCR for a team filled with abrasive personalities is laughable.
*For the record, Harvick offered an apology on the pre-race show on Sunday.
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