Kevin Harvick on stage race with Kurt Busch: ‘Every point matters’

1 Comment

Kevin Harvick explained Tuesday night on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show why he raced Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch so hard at the end of stage 2 at Chicagoland Speedway and his reaction to Busch’s radio rant.

Harvick passed Busch on the outside coming to the line to win the stage Sunday and score 10 points — and most importantly — one playoff point.

Busch went on a profanity-laced tirade on his radio before saying: “That’s a teammate right there everybody. That’s what a teammate does. Never expected that from a teammate.”

On his show “Happy Hours,” Harvick said:

“For us and the No. 4 team, I mean, every point matters. Honestly, I didn’t hit him. I didn’t run into him. Didn’t move him out of the way. So, he kind of has those tirades on the radio quite a bit.

“I think for me, it’s really about the (playoff) point. When you look at the weekend, we felt like we were not where we wanted to be from a car standpoint and were able to get a good points weekend out of it and a stage win. I hate that it hurt his feelings, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Harvick agreed that a teammate is given more respect on the track but said it’s still racing.

“It’s a situation where (at Stewart-Haas Racing) you are expected to race hard,” Harvick said. “There are no team orders. Everybody wants you to go out and race as hard as you can, and they want you to race each other as hard as you can without tearing up your race cars.

“For me, I didn’t see anything that was out of bounds. When (NBC Sports’) Dave (Burns) asked me that question after the race (about Busch), I didn’t, obviously, hear the radio communication and the things out of Kurt’s mouth. But for me in the car, I thought it was a good race, gave him thumbs up down the backstraightaway and he gave me the thumbs up back.

“I thought all was good. Like I say, those meltdowns are not uncommon from that particular radio.”

By winning the stage, Harvick increased his total to 27 playoffs points. Kyle Busch has a series-high 30 playoff points. Kurt Busch has two playoff points.

“Right now you want to try to win every stage, you want to try to win every race and everything you can because you never know what’s going to happen,” Harvick said. “You look at Kyle Larson last year. Everybody thought Kyle Larson was a lock to the end of the year because of the bonus points he had. Well, guess what, he blew a motor and wrecked, all in one (round). … Anything can happen, no matter how many bonus points you have. But the more that you can gather, the more cushion that you give yourself against as many mistakes.”

This isn’t the first difference of opinion between the two former champions at SHR.

They had issues after the race at Talladega Superspeedway in the 2016 playoffs. Busch hit Harvick’s car on the cool-down lap. After they parked on pit road, Harvick went to Busch’s car, reached in with his right hand and leaned into the car.

Here is the video of what happened in that 2016 race and what both said afterward:

Vote for best 2018 Cup paint schemes

NBCSN
Leave a comment

It’s time to take stock of the 2018 Cup season.

That means voting in the best paint schemes of the year tournament.

The NBC Sports tournament has now reached its final four.

Here’s the bracket so far.

Bubba Wallace, RPM reinlist US Air Force as two-race sponsor

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Richard Petty Motorsports will continue to receive support from the United States military. On Friday, they announced the US Air Force will continue as a primary sponsor in 2019 as well as a major associate sponsor throughout the season on Bubba Wallace’s No. 43.

The two races for which the Air Force will be the primary sponsor are Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway (4th of July weekend) and Sunday, Nov. 10 (Veteran’s Day weekend) at ISM Raceway. Last year during his rookie campaign, Wallace finished in the top 15 in both of those races. He was 14th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona and 10th at ISM.

“The Air Force continues to see benefits from our partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and driver, Bubba Wallace,” said Major Ross McKnight, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service in a press release. “Wallace Jr. and his personality align well with our target audience’s interests and the Air Force’s commitment to teamwork and technology. The combination of Bubba Wallace and the iconic No. 43 provides a continuing sponsorship opportunity that reflects our Air Force core values of Integrity, Service and Excellence, as well as has a positive impact on generating public awareness about the U.S. Air Force, our people and our mission.

“Like NASCAR, much of our work is based on science, technology, engineering and math principles combined with teamwork and training. This sponsorship is a great way to highlight that connection.”

Last year, Wallace visited four Air Force bases. He participated in drills at each and flew in an F-16 with the 77th Fighter Squadron “Gamblers” at Shaw AFB in South Carolina.

“I was really impressed with all the different aspects of the Air Force, and the different opportunities they offer,” said Wallace Jr. “I was able to visit different bases and see the Airmen in action and actually participate myself. That gets me excited and then I’m able to talk to inspiring students who are looking at a career in the Air Force. I’m pretty humbled to represent the Air Force.”

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

John Hunter Nemechek, Chase Briscoe approved to run for Xfinity Rookie of the Year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR has approved John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Briscoe to compete for the Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year title in 2019, NBC Sports has confirmed.

Nemechek made 18 Xfinity starts in 2018 with Chip Ganassi Racing while Briscoe made 17 with Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing.

Nemechek will compete for GMS Racing in the No. 23 Chevrolet. Briscoe will drive the No. 98 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.

When Nemechek was announced on Dec. 6 as joining GMS Racing, a team press release said he would compete for Rookie of the Year. But a NASCAR spokesperson said his eligibility had not been decided on at the time.

The Rookie of the Year title was not mentioned in SHR’s Nov. 27 press release about Briscoe going full-time.

The Xfinity rookie field next year will include Nemechek, Briscoe, Noah Gragson in JR Motorsports’ No. 1 Chevrolet and Justin Haley in Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet.

Briscoe said in an Q&A on Reddit he was “honestly surprised” he was approved.

 and on Facebook

Richard Childress Racing reveals Daytona 500 cars, sponsors and Xfinity details

RCR
Leave a comment

WELCOME, N.C. – Richard Childress Racing kicked off its 50th anniversary Friday at its headquarters in Welcome, North Carolina, with announcements about the 2019 season.

RCR announced Daniel Hemric will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet in his rookie Cup season. Hemric had originally been announced as driving the No. 31.

Hemric, who moves up after two years in Xfinity, drove the No. 8 in his two Cup starts in 2018.

Richard Childress Racing

Hemric will be sponsored by Caterpillar, Bass Pro Shops, Liberty National Life Insurance, Cessna and VF Workwear.

Cessna is also a sponsor at Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Growing up in Kannapolis, it was all about racing,” Hemric said in a press release. “I always dreamed of having the opportunity to drive for RCR and for Richard himself. Now, two iconic numbers, the 3 and the 8, are going to be under one roof. I know it makes Richard happier than anybody, just understanding what that means for the sport of NASCAR and how our fans are going to be able to connect with that.”

RCR also confirmed NBC Sports’ report that Luke Lambert would be the crew chief for Hemric.

Photo by Daniel McFadin

The team revealed gold-themed cars Hemric and teammate Austin Dillon will drive during Speedweeks in Daytona to celebrate the team’s 50th anniversary.

Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet will be sponsored by Bass Pro Shops in the Advance Auto Parts Clash.

The scheme for the exhibition race is based on the car Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove in the 1998 All-Star Race.

Xfinity Series

Team owner Richard Childress confirmed Tyler Reddick would be the organization’s only full-time Xfinity Series driver in 2019.

The defending series champion will drive the No. 2 Chevrolet and be paired with crew chief Randall Burnett, who worked with Matt Tifft on the No. 2 in 2018.

Childress said its second Xfinity car will be the No. 21 “more than likely.”

Technical Alliance

Childress confirmed the teams that will be full members of a technical alliance with RCR in 2019.

In Cup, RCR will be joined by StarCom Racing (No. 00), Germain Racing (No. 13) and Richard Petty Motorsports (No. 43).

Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series (No. 11 Chevrolet) will also be a part of the alliance.

Childress said ECR engines would be provided for all those teams.

Charter

Childress said the team would sell a team charter to StarCom Racing that had been leased to the team in 2018.

 and on Facebook