Kevin Harvick takes some blame for Austin Dillon’s anger: ‘He’s mad, and he should be mad’

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kevin Harvick understands Austin Dillon’s anger from Sunday’s wreck at Texas Motor Speedway and feels some guilt about partly contributing to his discontent.

But he hasn’t had the chance to say all of that to the Richard Childress Racing driver, who said Harvick “didn’t like it that the silver spoon kid was outrunning him” before they made contact late in the race. Dillon crashed and finished 37th. Harvick has maintained it merely was a racing incident.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory when you watch the in-car (camera) as to what happened,” the 2014 series champion said Friday after qualifying sixth for the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. “There’s nothing intentional there. And he’s mad, and he should be mad. They were just starting to perform like they need to perform. And he wants to win and he’s a competitor. I can’t blame him for that. So I reached out to him, and he didn’t reach back. So it is what it is. He can handle it how he needs to.”

Asked whether the Stewart-Haas Racing driver, who has won five of the past six races at Phoenix and is trying to advance to the championship round of the playoffs, needed to be worried, Dillon demurred Friday.

“I don’t really have no comment,” he said. “I’m here to race and win this race.”

The “silver spoon kid” reference was an apparent allusion to Harvick’s anger with being spun by Dillon in an October 2013 truck race at Martinsville Speedway. Harvick said Austin and Ty Dillon were partly the reason he was leaving RCR because “they’ve had everything fed to them with a spoon.”

Harvick said Friday he had talked through that incident with Ty Dillon but hadn’t discussed it with Austin.

“He can handle things however he wants to handle them,” Harvick said. “Obviously he’s a little bit bitter over what I said, and that’s probably a little bit my fault for not speaking to him about the situations.”