For Kevin Harvick, "crappy-ass parts" were to blame for his car trouble in Sunday's Cook Out Southern 500.
Harvick's vehicle caught on fire on the 275th lap, forcing him to pull off to the inside of the track and exit through the driver's side window.
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From the safety of the infield, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion lamented how he was "sure it's just the crappy parts on the race car like we've seen so many times." He alluded to how there couldn't be another explanation since he didn't hit the wall or make contact with another car.
"The car started burning, and as it burns, the flames started coming through the dash," he said. "I ran a couple laps, and then as the flame got bigger, it started burning stuff up, and I think right there you see all the brake fluid that was probably coming out of the brakes and part of the brake line, but the fire was coming through the dash.
"What a disaster for no reason. We didn’t touch the wall. We didn’t touch a car, and here we are in the pits with a burned-up car and we can’t finish the race during the playoffs because of crappy-ass parts."
Harvick mustered a 33rd-place finish. It would've been a disappointing showing in any circumstances, and the potential stakes further compounded his frustration.
The NASCAR playoffs opened Sunday, and Harvick is now sitting in last place among the 16 drivers still fighting for the title. The 46-year-old is already facing an uphill battle to qualify for the next round, when the field will be narrowed to 12.
This is the first year for NASCAR's Next Gen cars. Based on Harvick's criticism, some tweaks might be required before the organization rolls out its 2023 fleet.