A NASCAR senior executive said Monday that series officials will review two late-race situations from Sunday’s playoff event at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR will review Kevin Harvick wrecking Kyle Busch on the last lap in an effort to gain that position to advance to the Championship 4. Series officials also will review radio conversations to see if Erik Jones was told not to pass Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin late in the race to help Hamlin maintain his spot in the Championship 4.
Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, stated on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the sanctioning body will examine both matters Monday.
Harvick was one point from advancing to the Championship 4 on the last lap of Sunday’s race when he drove his car into Busch’s car.
“It was just a move I had to try knowing that I needed one point,” Harvick said. “I needed to hit (Busch) square in the door, but at that point I was too late and wound up hitting him in the back. It was just a Hail Mary that didn’t work out.”
Asked about that situation, Miller said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “That will be something we look at (Monday). The race was over and we have to sort of move on to all of what we do post-race to get the cars captured and get them to inspection. That will be something else that we kind of look at today. I personally haven’t even seen sort of the incident yet because … something that we’ll look at but it was not going to change anything last night. So, we’ll review that one (Monday) as well.”
Miller also was asked about how Jones raced Hamlin late in the event when Hamlin was near the cutoff line to transfer to next weekend’s title race at Phoenix Raceway.
“We have to review that one a little bit more (Monday) and listen to all the radio communication,” Miller said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “From my viewpoint, Erik Jones was beating the bumper off (Hamlin’s car), so it didn’t look like there was much going on there. It was pretty hard racing, but we will review the radio communication (Monday) and see if there is any action to be taken.”
After the race, Hamlin said of Jones: “We obviously had a big goal in mind. We were 12th or 11th. Really wanted the spot. We obviously picked up lap times there at the end to ward him off. Got the high line going a little bit. I put myself kind of there because I was kind of getting roughed up a little bit with some other guys, didn’t want to cut a tire. I just kind of backed off and didn’t really run as hard as I needed to early in the run. Obviously (Harvick) was going for it a little bit. But I don’t fault (Jones) or anything. He finished behind us. We had enough to go on.”