I find it sad that the news of the week as turned from Jimmie Johnson being eliminated from the Chase, to whether or not Kevin Harvick hit a wall to cheat and win at Dover. I understand the speculation and that people want an answer to what made Harvick so dominate on Sunday, but this is a bit ridiculous. Harvick flat out won the race with a car that gave no red flags to NASCAR. There hasn't been any visual proof of Harvick hitting the wall, or any damage that came from the incident. I think this is competitors simply trying to spark an investigation to penalize the strongest car in the Chase right now.
Competitors always want answers. Answers to why a driver is so dominated, why they aren't dominate, and what are we going to do to stop this guy. Harvick had an amazing day Sunday which catapulted him into the eliminator 8. Since he win on Sunday all the talk has been about whether or not Harvick cheated to win the race. The conversation started with Denny Hamlin and crew chief Dave Rogers went on air talking about how Harvick hit the wall in front of their pit box, and that it would be hard to tech his car (implying NASCAR couldn't tech his car properly after the race). Though this does have some merit, I do want to highlight a few things on this issue.
First, After re-watching the burnout, I can see why questions are being asked. Harvick clearly hit the wall and did a burnout in a rather unique location, but if you pay attention I want you to notice something else. Harvick also stopped spinning after realizing he may hit the wall. Harvick clearly lets off the throttle in an attempt to stop the car from spinning further, but the car was already coming around. This issue of blowing is tires out doesn't sit well with me, Harvick has been known for burning out until the tires blow, he has done it multiple times before. Lastly, if you do want to question the location, he chose that place because his pit box was just a few yards away. He wanted to simply celebrate with his crew.
Second, NASCAR has done further investigation on the car and still finds no issue. NASCAR took Harvicks car back to Charlotte for experts to look over and still nothing has been reported. I know this process takes time, but there is still no real evidence that Harvick purposely did anything. There is also no audio proof that the crew told him or reminded him to purposely tear up his car. When NASCAR tells me something is wrong I will then make my judgement on the issue.
Lastly, Hamlin mentioned himself that it is not un-common for drivers to blow tires out or hit the wall in order to get past inspection. Hamlin and Brad Keselowski both admitted that teams do things to get past NASCAR all the time. I find it ironic that when they do it everything is peachy, but when Harvick who is the most dominate driver out right now does it, people want to address it with the media. Also, who can forget the famous Jimmie Johnson incident, where Chad Knaus told Johnson over the radio to wreck the car if they win. Johnson questioned, but the point is, is that this situation is nothing new.
Overall, like I said before this is just to start a conversation and spark NASCAR's interest. Competitors will do anything to stop Harvick, so clearly they want to think that the reason for his success is linked to cheating. I myself do not believe Harvick did anything wrong, I think it was an accident when looking at the situation as a whole. Also, consider this, Harvick has ran up front in all 3 Chase races thus far. He was just as dominate at Chicago, and had one of the best cars at New Hampshire, his performance from Dover was no surprise. I honestly didn't expect anything less. I knew Harvick was going to try his best to put on a clinic in Delaware. I think NASCAR and fans just needed a story this week, and to find an excuse for why their driver isn't as fast as the #4, well I have your answer, the driver. Harvick wants it more right now. He didn't cheat to win Dover, he did his job.
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