Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick had altercations inside and outside of their cars after Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet slammed into Harvick’s No. 4 on the cooldown lap of the Hellmann’s 500. Harvick then angrily confronted Busch in the pits, reaching into the cockpit while Busch remained in his car (video above).
“He cleaned the side of our car out after the checkered flag,” Harvick told Dave Burns in an NBCSN interview. “I don’t really understand that. All in all, our team did a great job. Didn’t have a scratch on it until then. That’s pretty good for Talladega.”
Asked if Busch had an explanation, Harvick answered, “Not really” with a chuckle. Would there be a team meeting later? “Probably,” he said.
Busch finished fourth and advanced to the Round of 8 and joined Harvick, who already had clinched a spot with his Kansas Speedway victory.
“He has a misunderstanding of the call at the end of the race,” Busch said when asked by Kelli Stavast of NBCSN what Harvick had said. “He’ll understand it, and I’m sure he’ll clear it up in his interview. For us, we’re great teammates. We’re doing good together. We have to work together to beat all these other teams out there, and he knows that.”
Click on the video above or here to watch the interviews with Busch and Harvick explaining what happened after the race.
No matter the playoff format that’s been thrown at Jimmie Johnson, his No. 48 team has bested them, earning seven Cup championships.
This is the first year that the elimination format has included the stage format in races and Johnson said on NBCSN’s “Countdown to Green” that “I honestly welcome the challenge” of it.
The challenge for Johnson Sunday at Kansas Speedway is to stay on the positive side of the cutoff line. He sits in the final transfer spot, seven points above Kyle Busch. Four drivers will be eliminated from contention following the race (3 p.m. ET on NBCN).
“I’m in a position where I have to win, I think going forward,” Johnson said. “I’m going to regret not being at the front at the start of races to collect those first stage points or the second stage as often as we should have. I honestly welcome the challenge.”
Added Johnson: “This might not be our best year with this format, but give us a little time and we’ll sort it out.”
Watch the above video for the full interview.
Going into Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas Speedway, Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are likely to be among the four drivers eliminated from playoff contention.
Stenhouse is 22 points back from the final transfer spot and McMurray is 29 points back.
Both drivers talked with NASCAR America before the race (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) about being in a must-win scenario to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Watch the above video for the interviews.
Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
Kevin Harvick. His first oval win since Kansas Speedway a year ago validates the team’s 1.5-mile speed in the playoffs.
Kyle Busch. Mark it down, he wins and advances to the next round to continue his quest for a second title.
Martin Truex Jr. keeps his foot on the throat of the competition and gets his sixth win of the year at a 1.5-mile track.
Kyle Larson is starting 13th but expect him to get to the top five within the first 20-30 laps. He needs a strong run to give him momentum heading into the Round of 8 and he gets it Sunday.
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – James “Jim” Watson, a fabricator for Furniture Row Racing, died Saturday night after suffering a heart attack, the team stated Sunday morning. Watson was 55.
A native of Greenfield, Wisconsin, Watson had been a member of Furniture Row Racing since February. He worked for Roush Fenway Racing from 2006-15 and spent last season with HScott Motorsports. He was a long-time racer, competing in dirt late models and asphalt super late models throughout Southeast Wisconsin.
Watson was with the team this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
He is survived by wife Laurie and daughter Brittany.
“On behalf of Furniture Row Racing we extend our deepest sympathies to Jim’s family,” said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. “He was an outstanding and talented member of our racing family, whose life was dedicated to racing since his early days as a race-car driver in Wisconsin. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s wife Laurie, daughter Brittany and to his entire family and friends. Our No. 77 and 78 teams will be racing with heavy hearts today.”