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Harvick and Busch clash in Darlington
Fireworks erupted between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in and after the closing laps of Saturday night’s Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Harvick pounded the back of Busch’s car coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 363 of the scheduled 367-lap race. Busch swept to the inside, taking himself, Harvick and Clint Bowyer three wide. As the drivers collided coming down the frontstretch, Bowyer went spinning into the inside wall.
Busch then made a run for Harvick and retaliated.
“Eighteen hooked me,” Harvick said over the radio.
The wreck brought out the 11th caution of the night and set the stage for a green-white-checkered finish with Busch and Harvick restarting 16th and 17th, respectively. After the checkered flag flew, Harvick chased Busch down to the entrance of pit road. Busch attempted to avoid Harvick, who climbed from his car to confront him.
Just as Harvick reached Busch and stuck his left arm through the driver's-side window, Busch, who was still in his car, punted the No. 29 into the pit-road wall.
Busch and Harvick were both summoned to the NASCAR hauler immediately afterwards.
"We tore up a few good cars there," Busch said. "Our Doublemint Camry was so good today that we should have ran up front and we should have finished up front, but we kind of got marred back in traffic there. Tried to fight our way back forward. It was a really good clean night and I probably passed the most cars tonight, but there was one I couldn’t pass.”
Harvick saw things slightly differently.
"Obviously we were just racing hard and doing what we had to do there at the end and things happen," Harvick said. "Racing, I guess. Nothing really to tell you other than not much."
Bowyer, who was 12th on the restart, received the brunt of the damage. He finished 31st, seven laps down and dropped two spots in the point standings to ninth.
“I can’t wait to get out of here,” Bowyer said. “I knew when the caution came out all hell would break loose and it did.”
Busch salvaged an 11th-place finish and remained third in the points while Harvick was scored 17th. He is currently fifth in the standings.