Friday was Kevin and Delana Harvick’s wedding anniversary, but domestic issues weren’t the primary focus of Harvick’s thoughts at Phoenix International Raceway. Safety was.
At the end of last week’s Daytona 500, Harvick crashed and hit an inside wall that was not protected by a SAFER barrier, a high-speed impact that left Harvick bruised and sore. Friday at PIR, Harvick had some harsh words about the track, especially given its upcoming $400 million renovation.
"The tracks, for the most part, don’t listen to really anything unless it’s profitable for their shareholders," Harvick said prior to NASCAR Sprint Cup practice Friday at the 1-mile PIR track. "So, when you see somebody spending $400 million on their track and they don’t have soft walls around the inside, maybe they could spend $403 million to go ahead and finish the inside of the superspeedway there at Daytona."
Asked if he was still hurting from the wreck, Harvick said he was.
"Yeah, I was sore all week," Harvick said. "And, just today feel good enough to do what I need to do."
Harvick said there was nothing he could to avoid hitting the wall.
"The car didn’t have any brakes or any steering, and the throttle was partially hung coming off the wall and going through the wet grass and then into no SAFER barrier at the end of pit road there," Harvick said. "So, it was a hard shot. It’s a little bit frustrating because it really shouldn’t even be a debate. I know they have data that shows where the most frequently hit spots are, but we wear all this safety equipment and do all the things that we do to these racetracks for that one freak incident to keep things from happening like happened back in 2001. So, it shouldn’t even be a debate. It’s just one of those things I guess that you just wait around for something else to happen and then they’ll fix it."