Inside Harvick’s car at Talladega: What was said on radio in final laps


Concern about a sick car and confusion about NASCAR’s green-white-checkered policy reigned over Kevin Harvick‘s radio in the final laps of Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

NASCAR Talk listened to the radio conversations between Harvick, crew chief Rodney Childers and spotter Tim Fedewa in the final portion of the race, beginning when Jamie McMurray‘s blown engine brought out the caution on Lap 185 of a race scheduled for 188 laps but extended to 196 laps.

Some drivers accused Harvick of intentionally wrecked Trevor Bayne on the final restart to ensure a yellow-flag finish, allowing Harvick’s ailing car to finish in a position that would advance him to the third round of the Chase.

Tuesday morning, NASCAR reaffirmed that Harvick did nothing wrong and that it would not penalize him for his contact with Bayne.

Here’s what was said on Harvick’s radio in those final laps. The transcript has been edited for clarity and to eliminate extraneous portions:

After Jamie McMurray’s engine blows to bring out the caution, Childers updates Harvick on where he is to advance to the third round of the Chase.

“(Kyle Busch) will start behind you. You’ll just have to drive your butt off to keep him behind you. It’s all you can at this point.’’

After spotter Tim Fedewa tells Harvick that it will be a green-white-checkered finish, Childers said: “Just a reminder on that. If they wreck at any point during that it’s over. It doesn’t matter when that is.’’

Fedewa: “That’s if they throw the yellow.’’

A few minutes later, while still under caution, Harvick says on the radio: “Something is not right guys. It won’t hardly run now.’’

Childers: “Are your gauges good?’’

Harvick: “Everything is good. I don’t know if the ECU is confused or what.’’

Asked to further describe what is happening, Harvick says: “It’s missing like crazy.’’

Childers: “Kurt (Busch) said you definitely got a broken tail pipe. That could be screwing with the ECU, you know the O2 and stuff.’’

Harvick: “We’re in big trouble. I’m wide open and it won’t go.’’

Childers, Harvick and Fedewa try to solve the issue but can’t.

Harvick: “It’s as fast as it will go boys.’’

As they get ready for one lap until the restart, Harvick says: “It’s worse.’’

Fedewa “I just don’t want (the cars behind) to run over you. I’ll just tell them it won’t go.’’

Harvick: “It won’t go.’’

Fedewa: “Are you going to stay high Kevin if it don’t go?’’

Harvick: “I’m going to try.’’

As they come to the green, Fedewa tells Harvick the green flag is out and then to slow down because of a wreck that involves Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson.

Fedewa: “They didn’t cross the (start/finish) line so it’s another green-white-checkered.’’

Harvick: “I don’t understand.’’

Childers: “That’s not right. Once you throw the green flag it’s over.’’

Fedewa: “No, they say once you cross the line.’’

All three continue to question NASCAR’s decision that the restart didn’t count as the single attempt at a green-white-checkered finish until Harvick goes back to the problems with his car.

Harvick: “I don’t think you guys understand, I’m wide open right now.’’

Harvick and Childers both state the race should be over.

Fedewa: “All I know to do Rodney is just hold our position and pull out like he did last time and hope they wreck past the flag stand, I guess.’’

Childers: “I don’t think it’s the ECU. I don’t … I don’t know what to tell you to do, you know? Hopefully, they wreck right past the start/finish line and we end up with something. If not, we’ll be out. Everybody’s done a good job all day, though, no matter what.’’

Fedewa: “I told everybody the same deal … try to get to the start/finish line and hopefully they’ll wreck right past it. It ain’t any better is it?’’

Childers: “I know you ain’t got much option. I would try to block as many positions as you can. That’s really what it’s going to come down to.’’

Harvick: “Tell the 6 (Bayne) to push me.’’

Fedewa: “Yeah, 10-4 on that.’’

Childers gives Harvick an update on his position in the Chase: “Right now, you’re 13 points to the good. Thirteen positions. We just got to hang in there the best you can and hope (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) don’t win it here.’’

Fedewa: “I told (teammate Danica Patrick), she’s the next car behind us three rows back to push us. Tony (Stewart) is about six rows back. Coming to the green.’’

Fedewa then calls the restart: “Ready … ready … ready … ready, ready, ready. Green flag, green flag. Here comes a big push, 6. They’re all going to split you. Big wreck behind you. Wrecking behind you. Keep digging, digging. Yellow’s out. … Keep digging here. Race is over. Come across the line though.

As the field runs under caution, Harvick says: “They’re all going way too fast. You need to make sure we get the right spot.’’

Childers: “Not sure where we were. They want you to stay where you’re at. They shouldn’t have been going that fast under caution. Stay where you’re at.’’

Later, Childers says: “Checkered flag. By our stuff, we should be OK (to advance to the next round of the Chase). I’ll let you know what they’re saying.’’

Harvick: “10-4.’’

Xfinity race results, point standings after Bristol

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Chase Briscoe led the final six laps and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol for his seventh win of the season.

Briscoe beat Ross Chastain for the win. The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

The 12-driver field for the playoffs has been set with Briscoe’s win in the regular-season finale.

Brandon Brown placed 12th and clinched the 12th and final spot.

Here are the re-seeded point standings entering the playoffs.

Chase Briscoe – 2,050 points

Austin Cindric – 2,050

Justin Allgaier – 2,033

Noah Gragson – 2,025

Brandon Jones – 2,020

Justin Haley – 2,018

Harrison Burton – 2,014

Ross Chastain – 2,010

Ryan Sieg – 2,002

Michael Annett – 2,002

Riley Herbst – 2,001

Brandon Brown – 2,000

Click here for the re-seeded standings.

Click here for the normal point standings.

Chase Briscoe wins Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Chase Briscoe took the lead with six laps to go and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which marked the end of the regular season.

Briscoe passed Austin Cindric to assume the lead and went unchallenged to the checkered flag. The victory is his series-leading seventh of the season.

“I was so mad after last week (at Richmond),” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I told all the guys there ain’t no way we’re getting beat today. I was so mad after how we ran last week and I get on the internet all the time and see guys count us out after one bad race and I know what this team is capable. … I finished second here the last two races and I wanted to win here so bad and it’s awesome that I can actually celebrate it with all these race fans.”

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain, Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

More: Race results, playoff standings

Allgaier dominated the early portion of the race, leading 126 laps and winning the first two stages. But he lost the lead for good in the pits during the Stage 2 break.

Brandon Brown finished 12th and clinched the 12th and final playoff spot.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain led three times for 117 laps, but had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish of the season without a win … Austin Cindric earned his 13th top-10 finish in the last 14 races … Harrison Burton earned his 13th top five of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt finished 27th after he had to pit three times in the opening laps and was penalized for taking fuel before the competition caution … BJ McLeod finished 34th after he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck that began when he made contact with teammate Jeffrey EarnhardtMichael Annett finished 31st and Joe Graf Jr. placed 27th after they were involved in an incident on Lap 120.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I hit pit road and I wanted to cry.” – Ross Chastain after he finished second for the fifth time this year. He is winless entering the playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 26 on NBCSN.


Fans not allowed at Las Vegas races

Fans not allowed
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Spectators will be not be allowed for any of the NASCAR playoff races next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track announced Friday night.

A press release said only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Cup, Xfinity and Truck playoff races there.

“To say we’re disappointed that we will conduct the South Point 400 playoff weekend without fans would be a gross understatement,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Our staff has been working – many of them remotely – since the February Pennzoil 400 to prepare the speedway for our playoff tripleheader.

“But we must adhere to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive that limits gatherings due to COVID-19.  While we disagree with this policy, we have no choice but to oblige.  We certainly regret this situation for the thousands of race fans who won’t be able to attend our NASCAR-weekend events.”

Nevada’s re-opening plan does not permit fans at sporting events, concerts. Groups are limited to 50 or fewer people.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced last month that they would not have fans at any of the team’s home games in its inaugural season there.

The Truck playoff race will be at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 25 on FS1. The Xfinity playoff opener will be at  7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 26 on NBCSN. The Cup playoff race will be 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Fans holding tickets for those events will be contacted by the speedway ticket services department to discuss credits for future races or refunds.

Pit crew change for Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson teams

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson each will have a pit crew change for Saturday night’s playoff race at Bristol.

The change is the result of an injury to one pit crew member.

Dustin Lineback, jackman for Bowman’s team is out with an injury, the team stated. Kyle Tudor, who has been Johnson’s jackman, moves over to that role for Bowman’s team. Eric Ludwig, a backup for Hendrick Motorsports, moves up to be the jackman for Johnson.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, forecast, lineup

Bowman enters the elimination race 27 points ahead of teammate William Byron, the first driver outside a transfer spot to the second round. Bowman opened the playoffs by finishing sixth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that by placing ninth at Richmond. Bowman was collected in a crash and finished 37th in the May Bristol race.

Johnson, who is in his final full-time Cup season, seeks his first victory of the season. He finished third at Bristol in May.