Saturday, May 14, 2011

He said, he said: Harvick, Busch air differences at Dover

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Those of you looking for more dirt on the ongoing Kevin Harvick/Kyle Busch feud, your ship has come in, and it's bearing huge paragraphs of quotes. Let's get right to this, and because everybody thinks everyone else is biased, we'll present complete quotes and let you make your own call. From Friday morning's media sessions, starting with what exactly they think happened there at the end of the Darlington race:

Harvick: "[T]here was a lot that led up to that lap. I felt that Kyle (Busch) got into my door. I ran him down on the back straightaway. I got into him in (turn) three and we got three wide. 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 and you see everything that happened after the race and for me the way that 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."

Busch: "Apparently he's watching too much hockey ... I don't feel like I'm lying about anything because there's video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you're saying. �Not lying about anything.�The only thing I will say I guess is that I'm sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. �Maybe that's what initiated everything.�I apologize about that.�It wasn't my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down.�I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could."

Busch on the similarities between Darlington and the wreck at Homestead last year in which Harvick took out Busch: "I don't know that it really means much difference when somebody spins you out from behind on the straightaway at Homestead going 170 mph into the inside wall and ended up in a ball of flames ? that's any different from spinning somebody out down the frontstretch at Darlington at 170 mph.�I don't see any difference there.�I think it was just two ways maybe of going at it. It's just the way the cards were dealt at that particular moment."

Harvick: "I didn't use my car as a ram or dry to make a point with running into somebody on the race track or knocking them out of the way after the race, I didn't do any of that stuff after the race."

On the whole distinction between "boys, have at it" and probation:

Harvick: "I think for me it's definitely to the point where it's a little bit confusing with how it all works. I think when you look at the boys have it theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process. I think when you go back and you look at the very first major incident that you saw on the race track, I guess it would be Carl (Edwards) and (Brad) Keselowski in Atlanta (in 2010) and you saw the car go upside down. 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 and retaliating and sometimes it's a one-lap penalty and sometimes you are parked for the race and sometimes you look at the Keselowski and Hamlin thing at Homestead so there's a lot of different things happening. I understand that it's evolving but from a drivers standpoint you don't really 100 percent understand how it works."

Busch: "I understand it perfectly actually.�It's the 'boys have at it,' that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something�, NASCAR is going to step in and they're going to intervene and they're going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. �To me, it's not a gray area, it's pretty simple, it's black and white."

Harvick: "There just has to be consistency. I 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 spin them out, if you are going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is. A consistent answer."

Busch on why he didn't fight: "I think it's in my sponsors best interest and in my team owner's best interest that we are not fighters and that we're respectful competitors and we're out here to do our job on the race track and race as best as we can, as hard as we can and as clean as we can. Sometimes as clean as you can, you might rub fenders with somebody or something like that. When it becomes from getting disrespected as bad as you have from one particular guy, at some point you finally say you've had enough and I feel like I did stick up for myself on the race track.�Apparently there was more than on the race track afterwards."

So, will these two crazy kids ever make up?

Busch: "As far as us getting along, I'm not sure that we ever really did.�I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that's why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. �I still believe that's out there.�He'll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That's all ? I don't care. I'm going on with my own business.

Harvick: "That probably won't ever happen."

There you have it. How do their words change your mind, if indeed they do?

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