NASCAR America’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. said a fist bump between a NASCAR official and a Kevin Harvick crew member after NASCAR did not issue an uncontrolled tire penalty against the team “isn’t a good look.”
During Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Fox Sports 1’s cameras caught Harvick’s car chief, Robert Smith, fist bump an official and Harvick’s business manager, Josh Jones, tap the official on the back.
Tuesday night on “Happy Hours” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Jones explained what happened. He said the official was told to go to Harvick’s pits. After a wait, the official relayed the message from the tower that there would be no penalty for an uncontrolled tire.
“All (Smith) did was just fist bump him and said thanks and walked away,” Jones said. “I slapped him on the shoulder, I didn’t pat him on the back, I slapped him on the shoulder and basically said, ‘don’t scare us like that, we’ve been having a rough day as it is,’ jokingly and he saw me laughing and I walked away.”
NASCAR President Brent Dewar was critical of the moment after the race on Twitter.
“I think the blame lays on the official in that situation,” Earnhardt said in the latest episode of the Dale Jr. Download. “You can’t have referees high-fiving coaches on the sideline. ”
Earnhardt later added, “If I’m a NASCAR official, and a guy from another team puts out his fist out to fist bump me I’m going to feel weird about that.”
Watch the above video for more from Earnhardt, including his thoughts on the ongoing pit gun issues in the Cup Series.