Elliott avoids playoff elimination despite another tangle with Harvick

Elliott avoids playoff elimination despite another tangle with Harvick

Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick tangled again Sunday afternoon at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, and neither acknowledged if the spat between them was settled.

“I don’t have anything to say about him or anything,” Elliott told reporters when asked about the contact from Harvick early in the final stage. “Just glad to be moving on and that’s all that matters to me.”

Going into Turn 7 on lap 55, Harvick hit Elliott in the rear, sending Elliott spinning into the outside wall. The rear of Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was heavily damaged, and then he spun on the oval portion of the track. He fell to as low as 37th in the running order.

Elliott needed extended repairs on pit road, and the bumper cover later flew off his car to bring out a debris caution. The reigning series champions rallied to finish 12th and advanced into the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

“I’m headed to Texas next week focusing on my job,” Elliott responded when asked if things were settled between him and Harvick.

Elliott used the same phrase when asked if karma took Harvick out of the race on lap 99. Running a few spots in front of Elliott going into Turn 1, Harvick locked up the tires on his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and crashed nose-first into the tire barriers. Harvick finished 33rd and did not advance into the next round of the playoffs.

“I just pushed it in there too hard, and I got the tire locked up, and I couldn’t stop it,” Harvick said. “I felt like I needed to go to get a couple spots back that I lost (for the points), and I got the left front locked up, and I couldn’t get it to turn.”

Was hitting Elliott payback?

“You remember Bristol,” Harvick said.

There have been hard feelings between Elliott and Harvick since the elimination race last month at Bristol Motor Speedway. Racing for the lead with 34 laps to go, Elliott took exception to contact between the two that cut down a tire and sent him to pit road. When returning to the track multiple laps down, Elliott planted himself in front of Harvick, which allowed Kyle Larson to close in and overtake Harvick for the lead and the win.

Harvick accused Elliott of manipulating the outcome of a race. A week after the incident, Harvick compared trying to talk to Elliott to speaking to a nine-year-old.

The elimination is the earliest Harvick has been knocked out of the postseason. Elliott begins the next round seeded sixth.

“Our team did a really good job of putting our car back together, and that was really the bottom line,” Elliott said. “They took the allotted amount of time we needed to fix it, fix it properly, not have any more tire rubs and not cut a tire down and end our day completely. Super excited about that. Excited about three more weeks of an opportunity to win a championship.”