The Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway was a veritable potpourri of everything that could ever happen on a race track. There was an accident, a driver trying to purposefully spin another off the track and feuding between a driver and his owner.
What more could you ask for?
The drama began when Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon made contact with 13 laps to go in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Dillon tried a risky move on the first turn in order to take over second place from Harvick. He bumped Harvick in the side, and both drivers spun out.
That was only the first part of the story.
The two drivers immediately went back at it after the caution, and Dillon tried to spin Harvick out, but to no avail. Then, when Harvick was in pit row, he stopped his truck in Dillon's box so that Dillon wouldn't be able to enter his pit stall.
Harvick's day on the track was done, but he still had plenty on his mind.
Back in November, it was announced that Harvick would be leaving Richard Childress Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing. That deal won't go through until 2014, so Harvick is in a bit of a lame-duck period with his current team. But because he's on the way out, he didn't mind unloading on RCR and Dillon, the grandson of RCR namesake Richard Childress, via USA Today's Jeff Gluck:
Holy crap. Kevin Harvick just took down RCR with his Fox Sports 1 interview. Says he's leaving because of the spoiled rich kids.— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) October 26, 2013
Nate Ryan of USA Today has the transcript of what Harvick said during his interview in the infield:
(Dillon) just dumped me. Exactly the reason why I'm leaving RCR because you've got those kids coming up, and they've got no respect for what they do in this sport and they've had everything fed to them with a spoon.
So I cut him slack all day, and he just dive-bombs me in there, dumps me. It's a shame you've got to get taken out by some rich kid like that.
As a result of that fiery interview, David Caraviello of NASCAR.com pointed out that Harvick and RCR are unlikely to have an amicable end.
Harvick's said over and over he wants to be able to shake hands with RC and leave the team on good terms. Today certainly may test that.— David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) October 26, 2013
Dillon had his own take on what went down with Harvick on the racetrack, via Ryan:
I can't believe that happened. To tear a truck up after the race and totally take us out, and then to not stick around after the race—to walk off and not even want to say anything to me—I'm sure he's tweeting something now about it.
So he can't even face me afterward. I'm pretty disappointed in the things that went down. I used to look up to that guy. I guess he doesn't understand the circumstances of what's going on ... To tear a truck up and act like a punk on pit road—and stopping by my pit stall when my guys are coming out—that was pretty ridiculous. I'm not happy with him. And for him to not even stick around, that's pretty sad, too.
In terms of the race itself, Dillon was able to stay on the track and eventually finished 22nd. Harvick, on the other hand, couldn't and ended up 30th.
This is unlikely to be the last act in this ongoing saga. Although Harvick still has time left on his deal, the relationship between him and Richard Childress Racing has almost grown to be untenable.
Childress remained diplomatic after the race, via Sporting News' Bob Pockrass. He said, "I’m very disappointed—that’s all I can say. I’ve got too much class to say what I want to say right now. When I say it, I will say it to his face."
Harvick will be racing in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on Sunday, starting in the 10th position and under the RCR banner. The two sides will have to bury the hatchet for at least a few hours, as neither will want to sacrifice results in order to satisfy a personal grudge.