Hamlin Not Happy With Harvick
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on August 23, 2014 | 9:23 P.M. EST
Denny Hamlin showed his displeasure by throwing his HANS device at Kevin Harvick after Harvick caused Hamlin to wreck. (Photo: Getty Images)
BRISTOL, Tenn. - It turned out to be a wasted throw.
Kevin Harvick never saw Denny Hamlin toss his HANS device at Harvick’s car for wrecking him during Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Harvick didn’t know about Hamlin’s heave until after the race. Harvick admitted the contact was his fault.
“I just lost the front end, honestly,’’ Harvick said after finishing 11th. “That thing would take off on the bottom, and I just misjudged the slide and just ran right into the side of him. Totally my fault.’’
Harvick slid into the rear of Hamlin’s car as they raced for the lead on Lap 161. Hamlin’s car slid down the track, bounced off the inside wall and hit Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car. Hamlin finished 40th.
“He thinks he knows everything,’’ Hamlin said of Harvick. “I wish I had some kind of car left to show him the favor back. We’re not even halfway. It’s just a misjudgment. He’s a good driver. He knows better. He made a mistake.
“I thought for sure after the first couple of runs we were going to win the race. We were really fast. These are the racetracks we have to capitalize on. With what we’ve got, these are the tracks we can get wins and get the momentum going for the Chase. This is still not going to stop our momentum because we ran strong.’’
Earnhardt, who finished 39th, said he had no chance to avoid Hamlin.
“I couldn’t see what happened to Denny, but he got turned around or something and was coming up the track,’’ Earnhardt said. “There was a lot of smoke so I couldn’t really judge the speed of his car to know whether I needed to be going up there and go around him on the top. I had to make that choice. I just went ahead and went to the top and ended up getting into him. It wasn’t too hard of a hit just did a lot of damage and tore the lower (control arm) off the left-front. ‘’
While both were done early, Harvick still had his chance for a strong finish until a pit road penalty on Lap 432 ruined his chances for winning.
“I figured if I could get down pit road that time, I had the first pit stall, and thought we had a chance to get off pit road first if I could maximize everything on pit road. I just got a little too much.’’