Race weekends at
NASCAR’s oldest track, Martinsville Speedway, always brings
excitement for this is the second short track of the season
that the circuit visits. The .526-mile paper clip shaped
track brings out the skills of a driver to maneuver around
the tight turns as well as the fast straight a ways. This
weekend did not disappoint and at the end of the Virginia
500, Bobby Labonte scored his first short track victory and
his brother Terry Labonte not only led his first lap in over
a year but finished sixth.
But that was not the biggest news of the weekend.
No, because Kevin Harvick decided to run his #6 Chevy truck,
owned by his wife DeLana, in the Advance Auto Parts 250
truck race on Saturday. You would think that since this
seemed like more of a promotional deal to get a chance to
run with the great Darrell Waltrip and bring out some more
fans to see a truck race that normally would not have, than
a points battle type of race, he would relax and have a good
But then again, that’s not Kevin Harvick
Early in the race, Harvick was spun around by the #20 MBNA
Chevy Truck of Coy Gibbs. Well, it seems that Kevin thought
it was wrong of Gibbs to do that so later on in the race
Harvick got into the back of Gibbs’ truck and sent him
After what looked to be intentional on Harvick’s part,
NASCAR immediately stepped in and ordered Harvick off the
track and he was to park his car for the day. For this, not
only did Harvick have to drop out of the Advance Auto Parts
250 but was also ‘Parked’ by NASCAR for the entire Winston
Cup race, The Virginia 500 for his actions. Another down
side to sitting out the race was he fell from the 22nd
position to the 29th position. He is currently 517 points
out of first place, currently held by Sterling Marlin.
So…. In the long run, Kevin Harvick hosed himself out of a
possible chance to gain ground in the points for the Winston
Cup title by losing his temper in a race where points to him
did not matter. Excuse me, but is this déjà vu or WHAT!
Just 3 weeks ago in Bristol, he was in the Busch race, again
a race where points did not matter, it was more of a
promotional deal for the movie E.T., when Greg Biffle spun
him around and took him out of the race. After the race
Harvick confronted Biffle about it in an inappropriate
matter and it cost him $15 GRAND plus probation in ANY of
the 3 NASCAR series.
Maybe someone forgot to give him that part of the memo.
To make matters worse for Harvick, on Monday, NASCAR
reported that he would be fined an additional $35,000 and
his prior probation is now extended until December 31, 2002.
NASCAR also put him on notice during this probationary
period “that if there are any actions, in NASCAR’s opinion,
that are deemed detrimental to the sport or disruptive to
the orderly conduct of an event, he will be suspended
Then on top of everything else Harvick’s fellow drivers are
not happy with his actions.
“He lost a lot of respect of a lot of people just from his
childish behavior.” Ward Burton said, “I’m not going to sit
here and say I’m perfect by any means and that I haven’t
made mistakes and I haven’t lost my temper, but hell, he
loses his every week.”
Harvick's boss, car owner Richard Childress feels that the
actions by NASCAR are unjustified due to the fact that this
occurred in another series of NASCAR.
“NASCAR is also punishing the entire No. 29 team and all of
Richard Childress Racing for one person's actions."
When he came on the scene last year he was one of the
hottest drivers on the circuit. He did an outstanding job by
finishing in the top 10 in the Winston Cup standings and
winning the 2001 Busch Series Championship. This year has
not been all that good so far for the man who just one year
ago took over the driving duties of the #3 car and took that
team to 2 victories.
But Kevin, like the saying goes. That was then and this is
Though many were said not to see Kevin race on Sunday (Kenny
Wallace drove in place of him) I feel that NASCAR made the
right decision. It’s time for them to put their foot down
and make examples of people that are now following the
rules. It’s just unfortunate that this time it had to be
him. Hopefully this will ground the man and make him realize
that racing in the Winston Cup Series is a privilege & and
honor that should not be taken lightly.
Don’t get me wrong folks; I believe that Kevin Harvick is
one of the best drivers on the circuit. He will also be one
of the drivers that will mold this sport’s future for the
next 20 years or more.
Kevin now just needs to learn that he is not going to be THE
The author can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss this article