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Now its Busch and Harvick at war

With the teams ironically situated side-by-side on pit road, the fury between the two drivers inevitably spilled out onto pit road with the pit crews exchanging harsh words and shoves before NASCAR officials stepped in to separate them.

"Y'all are a bunch of [expletives]!" Harvick directed at the Joe Gobbs Racing crew, before a NASCAR official interceded with a stern "You are coming with us to our hauler now" to him. Asked later what had transpired in the hauler, Harvick ruefully grinned and replied: "Not much."

He added: "I don't have any answers for you. I'm really excited for Regan Smith, and I hate that you're not over there [in the media center] talking to him."

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp also sought to play down the incident and redirect attention toward Regan Smith's emotional win instead. "We had a discussion with them, more about what happened post-race than anything during it," he said, explaining that any sanctions toward either driver or team would be decided at NASCAR's Tuesday post-race wrap-up meeting.

"Let's put it this way: it was a discussion where they both aired their opinions, voiced their opinions," Tharp said. "To have them be able to do that after the race is a good thing. And to look at it again is also a good thing."

As to the original on-track incident that triggered this confrontation, it was unclear exactly who might be to blame.

Busch blamed Harvick: "It was tight racing after the restart there and Harvick was up on the top, a little bit loose, and I gave him room," he explained. "He kind of came off the wall - that's a bad angle, obviously - and then lifted early to let me go into Turn 3 and I thought it was all good. Then he drives into the back of me there, so ... it made my car loose all the way through the exit.

"And then obviously Clint wrecked, bouncing off Harvick. It was just uncalled-for; it was unacceptable racing. I know it's the last couple of laps, but I gave him room coming off 2 and I didn't get the room."

Harvick obviously disagreed but was more taciturn: "Obviously we were just racing hard and doing what we had to do at the end. And things happen. That's it."

And Bowyer was equally succinct: "It's the nature of the beast," Bowyer said. "There's no room to race at the end. I knew when the caution came out, all hell was going to break loose. And it did."

The incident did unfortunately rather overshadow celebrations in victory lane for the first win by Regan Smith after 105 Sprint Cup starts.




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bojan - Unregistered

May 08, 2011 10:27 PM

Call me a cynic (many have) but I am beginning to wonder whether this sudden outbreak of heated disagreements between drivers is a deliberate tactic, with the tacit approval of NASCAR, to increase ticket sales? I would have thought professional sportsmen should be able to do their jobs without allowing rivalries to get personal, particularly as they all seem to subscribe to the idea that "rubbin's racing".



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