This movie looks familiar. Kevin Harvick was spanking the field in the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 in Atlanta. Until the final caution of the race, the narrative was shaping up to be one of a racer stinking up the show with his dominance. This fan caught himself thinking, “So much for the fixed race theory.” Ah, but anyone who has watched more then five NASCAR races knows you have to stick around until the end.
For those of you who missed it, Austin Dillon brought out the caution when his battery died with 16 laps remaining. While Harvick has had his share of bum pit stops over the years, his crew was on point all day, with stops in the sub-12 second range. It’s a far cry from the days where the driver sarcastically nicknamed “Happy” has excoriated his supporting cast for making him pass the same cars, once, twice, three times.
One little problem on that final stop of the race. The 2014 champion was caught speeding on pit road. This put Harvick at the back of the pack. A testament to his car and his racing talent, he finished ninth. On the strength of two stage wins and his performance at Daytona, Harvick leaves the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 as NASCAR’s points leader.
Question: since this screw up is on Harvick, does his crew get to yell at him the way he has chastised them? No matter, I’m sure a lot of those poor guys are long gone.
Truthfully, every good driver and every good crew member is going to screw up. In the heat of the battle, these adrenaline junkies known as racers are going to say harsh things. In many cases, after a driver has thrown his pit crew under the bus on national television will apologize.
A bit amusing and eyebrow raising is the reaction of Harvick’s wife Delana. One of the more visible NASCAR WAGS (wives and girlfriends), Delana has been known to share her opinion on social media. You might think of her as the female Donald Trump of NASCAR.
Delana aimed her ire not at her husband, not at his crew, not at NASCAR officials, but at Austin Dillon. She let Dillon have for not getting off the track right away, and bringing out the caution. She took to Twitter at race’s end to show love for the 4 team, and to express anger at the 3 team with one of the more comical uses of the word “bovine excrement” I’ve ever seen. Amusing. She has a right to her opinion, even if the ire seems a bit misplaced.
Such is life. At least Kevin Harvick can put the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 behind him knowing that Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford has him hooked up with a pretty mean piece, and there’ll be opportunities to get this one back.