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It's Time To Sit Harvick, Again


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#1 Mustang: Ride The Horse

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 09:29 AM

NASCAR threatens to bench Johnson, Harvick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The year-long on-track feud between Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick officially came to a head Thursday, and NASCAR made it clear that they've officially had enough.
No penalties were levied for the multicar accident that took out Johnson, Harvick, Mark Martin, Joe Nemechek and Rusty Wallace, and also involved Scott Riggs and Dave Blaney.
But the drivers, crew chiefs and team owners were summoned to the NASCAR transporter for a stern talking-to from president Mike Helton.
NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said that if Johnson and Harvick don't resolve their differences immediately, they could be spectators for an upcoming event.
"If they get into it again, there could be some severe penalties -- like missing a race," Hunter said.
Hunter said the drivers opted to meet privately Thursday evening, rather than have NASCAR involved in the process.
The latest episode in the Johnson/Harvick saga came on the 37th lap of the second 150-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.

As they exited Turn 2 with Harvick running second to Johnson, Harvick dove underneath Johnson and made contact.
The resulting melee sent at least three drivers into back-up cars, and damaged five machines capable of competing for the win.
Harvick got the worst of it, as Harvick's Chevrolet was absolutely destroyed after careering off the wall, then being T-boned by Nemechek's machine.
Harvick was sent to the infield care center with chest pain, according to team owner Richard Childress, but he appeared physically fine upon entrance into the NASCAR transporter.
Johnson managed to keep his car off the wall, but crew members voiced concern that the rear end suspension is damaged.
Martin felt he had a race-winning car. Now he's not so sure.
"I can win the Daytona 500 with (the primary) car," Martin said. "With that backup? Absolutely not. Never happen. I don't know if they can fix (the primary).
"That thing is wrecked. Pat (Tryson, crew chief) says he's going to fix that car. If we want to win, and they can fix it right, we can certainly win from the back with that thing."

Hunter said NASCAR considered the situation a "racing accident," but Johnson wasn't so thrilled.
"I was riding along and he pulled his head off his shoulders and tried bump-drafting in the turn," Johnson said. "I guess all those years of watching TV and worshipping racing like he says he did -- he didn't watch much of it and realize you're not supposed to bump- draft in the middle of the turn.
"It's a shame. He just tore up six or seven good racecars. I hope Childress either fires him or NASCAR does something about him, because this is ridiculous -- absolutely ridiculous."

Nemechek, who was also sent to a back-up car, agreed with Johnson.
"I think you need to ask Kevin Harvick -- he drove stupid -- totally ridiculous," Nemechek said. "He cost a bunch of people good racecars, hard work, a lot of money and they ought to make him pay for it.
"I had a good racecar and I'll have another good one on Sunday -- the same car I drove in the Shootout."

Harvick said he saw Johnson get loose, then get off the throttle.
"I just got to him and he checked up and I got to him and I couldn't get off him," Harvick said. "I just spun him out and I feel sorry for the teams and everybody involved.
"It's not something where you want to bump draft in the middle of the corner. But I hate it. But I just got to him and he slowed down and got sideways, and I got the back of him."
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Straight lines are for cars.
Corners are for drivers!!!

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 09:54 AM

Sounds like it will heat things up for Sunday