Harvick denies intentionally causing wreck on final restart

Harvick denies any wrongdoing
Harvick denies any wrongdoing

Kevin Harvick denied triggering a last-lap wreck Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway to ensure his advancing into the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After one restart was aborted because of a crash before the leaders got to the start-finish line, Harvick, in 10th, was in jeopardy of falling out of the Chase as his motor was about to blow prior to the one attempt to have a green-white-checkered finish. Harvick's car didn't get going on the restart — just as on the previous one — and he pulled to the outside lane. He clipped #6-Trevor Bayne, causing a wreck that brought out the caution. At that point, the field was frozen, drivers could not gain positions and Joey Logano was awarded the checkered flag for his third consecutive win.

"That's a crappy way for Harvick to have to get in the Chase; to wreck somebody — what I believe to be on purpose (but) maybe it wasn't," Bayne said "The restart before that, he had engine problems and got out of the way. I think he realized if the caution came out, he was gonna be fine. So I go by and get hooked in the left-rear. Harvick is a really good driver. I think he knows the limits of his car and where it's at, so that's why I think it was intentional."

Hamlin also questioned it to reporters afterward and tweeted even harsher comments. "The 4 could only run about 30 miles an hour," Hamlin said after the race. "I think he saw people coming and he knew he was so probably going to be 30th, the last car on the lead lap, so he caused the wreck."

On his in-car radio prior to the final restart, Harvick expressed frustration that the race was being restarted after the initial aborted restart. He also mentioned that the best hope for him would be for there to be a crash.

"What we saw, there is no evidence right now that there was anything the 4 car [of Harvick] did that was questionable other than moving out of line," NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton said about an hour after the race. Helton said if any new video or angles came out in the next 24 hours, NASCAR could take action. "There are some of the teams that questioned what the 4 car did on the restarts," Helton said. "We went back and walked through it with them. Procedurally from NASCAR, we don't see anything there that is suspect so far. We haven't seen anything."

Harvick said he was just trying to get out of the way. "I was hoping that it would kind of get going a little bit better and those guys would push me so I could kind of halfway get going and it didn't go," Harvick said. "As I pulled up, I didn't even see the 6 (of Bayne) up there and clipped him and shot him across the inside. It sucks " ESPN.com