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And Kevin Harvick now says.....

  Kyle Busch's crew and Kevin Harvick's crew square off in the Darlington Raceway garage after Saturday's fracas in the Southern 500. And how did NASCAR officials let things get this tense and dangerous? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

  By Mike Mulhern

   DOVER, Del.

   And in this corner, Kevin Harvick, still upset with Kyle Busch over rough driving at Darlington in the Southern 500:
   And how has this week gone, since NASCAR handed down probation and fines?

   "I've had a pretty calm week actually. Played golf a few times, and just relaxed. Pretty normal week."
   Okay, what about Thursday's meeting here with NASCAR officials and Busch?
   "The meeting was NASCAR explaining how probation works -- and how we need to stay away from everybody…and each other," Harvick says.
   Harvick, one of the few NASCAR drivers ever suspended as punishment, for that Martinsville incident a few years back, concedes he understands the situation here: "I have a lot of experience of this…and (after) you get in trouble the first time, it's best not to get in trouble again…because you're going to be the poster child."
   But just what is NASCAR really thinking in all this, in the probation, in 'boys, have at it,' and all that?
   Drivers here seem rather confused about just what NASCAR wants.
   "For me it's definitely to the point where it's a little bit confusing with how it all works," Harvick says.
   "When you look at the 'boys, have at it' theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process.
    "When you go back and look at the very first major incident -- Carl (Edwards) and (Brad) Keselowski in Atlanta (last spring)…and you saw the car (Keselowski) go upside down (and nearly into the grandstands).
    "Carl was parked for hooking him in the right-rear quarter panel.
    "And then it happened again.
    "And you see a lot of people coming out of the pits (after repairs) and retaliating.
    "Sometimes it's a one-lap penalty, and sometimes you are parked for the race.
    "And sometimes you look at the Keselowski-Hamlin thing at Homestead (last fall)….
     "So there are a lot of different things happening."


  When 'Happy' isn't happy, the whole NASCAR world knows. What next for Kevin Harvick, after that Darlington run-in with Kyle Busch? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   The Harvick-Busch flare-up isn't the only simmering feud in NASCAR. Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Newman still haven't buried the hatched themselves. And Harvick says "There are just a lot of different elements to the whole thing that are happening right now that are confusing to the drivers.
     "I understand it's evolving. But from a driver's standpoint you don't really 100 percent understand how it works."
    Well, at least the Darlington post-race pit road incident seems pretty clear to everyone.
    "They stressed to me the penalties were for pit road violations after the race, and the jeopardy that put everybody in after the race, and I understand that part," Harvick said.
    "Yesterday (the meeting here) was all about being on probation and on the race track. Just a little bit confused about that.
    "Nobody really had any clarification as to what we were supposed to do and not supposed to do, other than we are on probation for four weeks, and now it's a penalty on the race track (for what might happen).
    "I don't really know if it was a penalty (at Darlington) for the race track (incident between Harvick and Busch during the 500), because we saw the same right-rear hook…and obviously there was a lot that led up to that lap.
     "I felt that Kyle got into my door (in the closing laps, while battling for position, and a shot to win). I ran him down on the back straight. I got into him in three, and we got three-wide (when Clint Bowyer ducked in low to try to get around the two).
    "Yesterday Kyle's explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway.
     "It's kind of one lie after the other."
    But Harvick isn't backing down a bit: "The way I was brought up and taught to race, when you hook somebody in the right-rear quarter panel, that's the equivalent of throwing your gloves off in hockey.
    'That's the point where everybody has reached the boiling point.
     "And the only answer I get out of Kyle is 'I'm a race car driver, not a fighter.'
    "But if you drive like that, you're going to have to learn how to take care of yourself."
   So how will Harvick and Busch figure out how to get along with each other now? "That probably won't ever happen," Harvick says flatly.
   And Harvick then took a jab at Busch's own crew for not running down pit road to protect their driver, as Harvick's crew did. (NASCAR apparently isn't punishing any crewmen for any role in the altercation.)
    "The team not backing him up…when you don't have a backbone, how do you back someone up?" Harvick said.

    So when Harvick adds "For me it's done and over with, and we'll move on," that comes with a caveat: "A lot of questions more than answers.
    "We can race either way. We can flip each other over. I don't mind wrecking; I don't mind getting wrecked.
     "I don't mind 'eye for an eye.'
     "I don't mind any of that. But just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is if you are going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway. If you are going to retaliate, what is the penalty?"

   Harvick described the Darlington fracas beginning this way: "The incident started off turn two. We came off turn two, I was driving straight behind the car in front of me. We can talk about being three feet off the wall or whatever, but I was directly behind the car in front of me coming up off the corner…and at the time I didn't even know it was Kyle.
    "The car hit me in the door, and as soon as he hit me in the door I drove it to the left. We got to the other end (turn three), I let it go and ran into the back of him and ran him up the race track, and took the position back.
    "At that moment we got three-wide (with Bowyer), and there wasn't really a lot of room…and things happened, and he hooked me on the straight
   "Look, the wrecking doesn't bother me. I don't mind getting wrecked back; if you think it's a payback for Homestead, that's fine.
    "I understand how it all works.
    "But when you throw them (gloves) off, it's time to handle it."
    And Harvick seemed to question why there were no NASCAR officials on pit road to handle the simmering situation between Harvick and Busch. And Harvick said that might change post-race here.
    "I know there are changes this week with the officials and how they are going to approach things after the race," Harvick says. "But there was a split-screen on TV, there were no NASCAR officials in sight….and they got what they wanted (highly publicized controversy).
   "When I received my penalty, it was stressed to me it was for the pit road. So it just doesn't make sense to me (that now the two men are under watch for what they might do out on the track itself).
    "I'm not complaining about it; I just want to understand it.
    "You hear the 'upper brass' talk about wanting to do things more like the NFL…but you have to be consistent in order to do that."

Didn't a Childress pit crew

Didn't a Childress pit crew stomp a car in the pits a few years ago. I seem to remember at the time that teams were not to let that happen again.

Is Harvic praising Childress for breaking his word and criticising Gibbs for reasonableness?

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now that you mention

now that you mention it...
here's the video: http://bit.ly/jVEo07

In a way I can understand why

In a way I can understand why Kevin doesn't like Kyle.

I'm reminded of the Waltrip/Speed incident that was similar. Waltrip didn't need to wait in his car till his "posse" showed up. He just got out of the car and hit Speed a few times, got back in his car, and drove to the hauler to man up to his punishment.

Yesterdays truck race is another reason for Kevin to be upset. There have been 6 races and KBM trucks have wone 5 of the 6 races. Even though they have been highly outnumbered by KHI trucks.

And I really do think that the fact that most first time Cup champions have been under 32 weighs on Kevin's mind since he is 35 and not only hasn't he a championship he has 6 less Cup wins than a 26 year old Kyle.

The fact that Kyle actually had more cheers than boos during truck introductions doesn't help either.

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