As millions of NASCAR fans had their eyes glued to the television set Sunday afternoon to see a spectacular finish involving series favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. and hot shot Joey Logano, one huge controversy unfolded. I myself was watching the race and couldn't believe how the race ended, honestly one of the weirdest finishes I have ever seen. In case you missed it NASCAR had a few questionable calls, starting with a false attempt at a green, white, checkard finish. NASCAR made a rule change earlier in the week that limited the field to only one instead of three attempts at a G-W-C (green-white-checkard) finish, which would come into play late in the race. The false attempt occurred when Jimmie Johnson was turned in the middle of the field during a restart. The cars never officially crossed the line under green, and NASCAR stated that since the cars never crossed the stripe that the attempt did not count. Now I could go into this story, but I will save that for someone else, I am hear to talk about the next attempt.
As the cars rolled to the restart zone, Kevin Harvick who had been complaining about engine issues made a questionable decision that some argue was intentional, while others claim bad timing. The field took the green but Harvick's car didn't go, or at least not at a reasonable speed. Trevor Bayne who was behind Harvick moved to the outside to pass the #4 car, but then Harvick suddenly turned right hooking the left rear quarter panel of Bayne's Advocare Ford. Bayne then spun out of control and a huge ten to fifteen car wreck unfolded. There were two controversies here, one involving the finishing order. NASCAR waited a few moments to throw the yellow, but eventually named Joey Logano the winner. Logano edged out a very aggressive Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win his third consecutive race. Though I could talk about this issue, my goal in this post is to address the major issue that occured, the Harvick incident. Link to video of the crash below (sorry if it isn't linked, tried but it wanted to be difficult).
DISCLAIMER: I am a Kevin Harvick supporter. He is not my most favorite driver, but I do like him. This post is not to attack him or call him out on any of his actions, just trying to show another point-of-view.
Many fans will yell and ramble on stating that Harvick did this intentionally, and die-hard fans will say he was trying to get out of the way, either way a great controversy is among us. For this post I want to just assume Harvick did make the move on purpose. I like Harvick as a driver, and the only reason I am going to write this has if it was intentional is because I want to defend him. NASCAR fans are always two-faced on many issues, and this one is just like any other. I am going to give three reasons why what Harvick did has to be justified due to past incidents and the state of the sport now. You don't have to agree with me, but by the end of this I want you to put yourself in his shoes. Well, let's get this thing started.
1. Ryan Newman did it.
I honestly didn't know what to write about until Kenny Wallace gave me inspiration. After watching Wallace defend Harvick on tv (can't remember the show), I had to put my 2 cents in. This first point is very relevant, and one that Mr. Wallace pointed out. Last November in Phoenix Ryan Newman did something very similar to Harvick. Newman who went into the final lap at Phoenix one-point out of Chase contention, purposely wrecked Kyle Larson to give himself a chance at a championship at Homestead. Many fans pondered whether this was fair, but more often than not Newman was appluaded for this move. Newman who 'did what he had to do' took out another competitor simply to benefit himself, and I want to ask you what makes Harvick's situation different? Harvick was a sitting duck, and would have virtually given away his Chase chances if he wouldn't have tried something. Though I will never advocate for someone to purposely take out another competitor let alone 10 or more, I get why he did it. Harvick 'did what he had to do' if in fact it was on purpose. You can't applaud Newman and then boo Harvick because you don't agree. Take away the fact that this was at Talladega and you have the same situation. Harvick like Newman was only trying to better his chances at a championship, the only difference has he did it in round 2, not the second to last one.
2. You would do it.
As race fans we always think we know what is best, but we forget to put ourselves in the drivers shoes. So just imagine you are Harvick, you know that if you don't do something you will lose your shot at a title. You can't tell me that at least some of you wouldn't consider doing something similar. As fans we cheer on our drivers and want them to do what it takes to win, and though this is one extreme I don't like, Harvick technically did what it took to benefit himself. I guarantee that most fans would have taken the same actions. The Sprint Cup is one the most prized possessions in the racing world, so you nor Harvick should be expected to just pull over. This is something I think humans in general forget to do, put ourselves in someone else's shoes. I can't blame Harvick for wanting to do something, I know if I was racing I WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY DO SOMETHING OF THE SAME NATURE. Also, I just want to state that if Dale Jr. made this move, we wouldn't be talking about a controversy, but about how he is a hero willing to do what it takes to win a championship. Harvick is inherently human, so at the end of the day he did what humans do, and think for himself to put him another step closer to defending his 2014 championship.
3. NASCAR allows it.
Though race fans are begging for something to be done, Harvick will walk away from this situation with nothing but positives. Fans will argue that NASCAR needs to take action, but they won't. All Harvick gets out of this is a chance at a championship, which is what he wanted. NASCAR allows a lot of pushing and shoving these days, which I love, but sometimes not enough is done. Though I like the controversy, NASCAR honestly should look into the Harvick situation if it was on purpose, but guess what... they won't. This is another reason Harvick wouldn't be afraid to make this kind of move. NASCAR will just say it was a racing incident and Harvick would get of clean, but that's not Harvick's fault, it's NASCAR's. Just think back to when you were a little kid, you would do things simply because you knew you could get away with it. I am not saying Harvick did this because he knew NASCAR wouldn't do anything, but let's be honest NASCAR doesn't always throw the fines and penalties on big name drivers, especially during Chase time (unless you're Clint Bowyer). During the Chase NASCAR tries to let more and more go, like fights and crashing competitors on purpose. Harvick will be the next demonstration of this very FACT.
NASCAR Vice Chairman, Mike Helton
Overall, I don't know if Harvick did this intentionally. No one will ever know except Harvick and God himself. Either way I can understand why Harvick did what he did, if in fact this was on purpose. If I am Harvick I go to sleep tonight with a big of a guilty conscience, but I know that I live to fight another day. My final opinion on this is that we will have to let this go. Fan's thought Newman was clever to make a bonzai move to catapult himself to Homestead, so why isn't what Harvick did justified. Looking into the mirrow I believe most of us would do the same thing, and especially if we knew NASCAR wouldn't throw any repercussions our way. At the end of the day NASCAR got what they wanted, a controversy. People forget that when big issues like this arise, NASCAR gets a huge media boost, more people talking leads to more views.
Well, thanks for reading!!! I know many will find this very post controversial, but this is how I feel. I don't like the idea of wrecking people on purpose, but when it comes to a championship anything goes! Hope you enjoyed the post, and hope you have a great rest of your day!! Remember to follow me on Instagram: NASCAR OPINION & Twitter: nascar_opinion.