NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick shared his thoughts on the fight or scuffle at the end of the race between his competitors Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson.
Following the race, Gragson confronted Ross Chastain grabbing him by his shirt. Gragson didn’t let loose of his grip and Ross launched a right punch to Gragson’s fist.
Gragson attempted to counter with a right of his own, but a security guard quickly intervened and blocked the punch. The two would then be separated by NASCAR officials.
Following the confrontation, Gragson shared his side explaining that Chastain fenced him on the track, “He just fenced off of four, 60 laps to go in the race. I don’t get it. Just completely used us up and fenced the s**t out of us.”
He continued, “I’m not going to tear the Trackhouse guys’ stuff up. I respect their hard work and everything, but nobody confronts the guy. And I went down there and grabbed him, showed my displeasure. I’m sick and tired of it. The guy just runs into everyone. I mean when you got guys like Chase Elliott and other guys telling you go beat his ass it — everyone’s just sick and tired of him, but nobody has the balls to go up and get him.”
He reiterated, “So I’m tired of it. We’re not the fastest this year. He’s probably going to be lapping us quite a bit this year, once or twice a race it seems like, that’s what the trend has been so far this year. He’s got two opportunities every single race.”
When asked what his intention was, Gragson responded, “There’s no talking to the guy. No talking to the guy. Sucks that they all get involved. Just let us two work it out and finish it off. But there’s no talking to the guy.”
After being asked if he had been stewing on the confrontation on the racetrack, he responded, “I was trying to drive my car as fast as I could and do the best job possible for my Sunseeker team. What’s on track is on track and what’s off track is off track.”
Gragson would later state, “Everybody else races super hard, but super respectful and you’ve got one douchebag in the field that doesn’t.”
Chastain shared his thoughts saying, “Tight racing off turn 4, left him one lane exactly and that was that.”
As far as the discussion they had before blows were made, Chastain said, “That’s between Noah and I.”
He did go on to say he was not surprised by Gragson’s actions and recalled, “He did the same thing after Talladega at the plane and nothing happened. BUt that wasn’t the first time he’s approached me like that.”
Harvick shared his thoughts during an appearance on the Kenny Wallace Show.
He said, “I can tell you that in 2002 for me sucked to start the year. And a lot of that was a show. I think sometimes in order to keep yourself relevant you’ve got to do some things that are a little farfetched in order to keep it entertaining.”
When specifically asked if he liked the punch, Harvick said, “Ross gets a lot of grief, but he didn’t do anything wrong there. He was just standing next to his car and the guy came down and he told him twice. He said, ‘Stop. Stop.’ And then he just pounded him.”
Harvick then said, “I get torn on this, Kenny, because I don’t like it. I think when the security guards, and the officials, and everybody are there and you see something like that, you see one guy get a shot in. If they’re gonna fight they need to let them fight. If they’re not gonna let them fight, we look silly.”
Harvick went on to reveal he felt “a little bit” sad that Gragson was not able to get his punch in before the security guard stepped in.
He continued, “And I think for me that there is something about it in everything that we do in today’s world that I just wish they would fight in the parking lot and we’d never know about it. If it’s that big of a deal just go somewhere else. I don’t even know that I like that it actually happened.”
When asked if he was going soft, Harvick responded, “I’m not going soft. I’m just looking at it from a professional at some level. I don’t know. I don’t know if we look professional or we don’t look professional. Sometimes I watch Late Model races and I watch them just look like a bunch of idiots chasing each other around the racetrack with jack handles and stuff like that.”
He added, “It’s entertaining to watch, but how is it, how does it look from somebody that is watching from the outside?”
Harvick then said, “I’m torn because I feel like if you walk down there and you are looking for a fight, it’s okay. But, I don’t know, it all felt weird to me with the way the crew guys were back and the officials were standing right there and then you got security guards in, and one punch in. It’s like, “Oh! Fight’s over.’ So I don’t know, but it was a good shot. Swing first, swing hard, Kenny.”
What do you make of Harvick’s reaction to Chastain and Gragson’s fight?