Breaking down that collision between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson

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Casey Mears and Adam Alexander go 'Next Level' to break down what happened between Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick.

- You know, the biggest story heading to the weekend at California, Kevin Harvick going for a fourth straight victory. And after watching practice and qualifying, it appeared like a real possibility. However, a run in with Kyle Larson took Kevin out of contention. Here's how it went down. Lap 37, racing off of turn two, there is contact. Harvick into the wall spinning, keep it off the inside wall. Would go several laps down, finish 35th. Larson continued on for a runner up. Here's Larson on the radio and Kevin Harvick reacting post race.

- I went down the side draft and he was coming up. And we touched, and it just knocked the thing to the right and just spun out. Just, I mean, I don't know that that's his fault. I think that's my fault for you know, coming down the racetrack right there and trying to side draft and then, as we touch right there, it just came back up the racetrack. So, just trying to get a little too much right there. I knew the stage was coming in. Just got to thank all my guys. They did a great job on our Busch beer Ford. And just my fault back there.

- You heard from Larson. You heard from Harvick. Now we're going to break it all down as we go next level with the incident that happened 37 laps into Sunday's Auto Club 400. High rate of speed, two drivers running close together, one of them gets loose. Anything can happen.

- Yeah, and when you watch this at full speed, it's really hard to break down. But you know, obviously, here we can slow it down. And you can see the four car gets a little bit loose right there when he crosses that last seam. And I think because he was getting loose, he left a little bit of a cushion to the outside wall. Typically, you'd want to use that up. But when you get loose like that, you know, you give yourself a cushion. At the same time, it also pointed him down hill just a little bit. But the big thing is, if you talk to Kyle Larson after the race, he was saying that they were doing this lap after lap for quite a while, chasing each other, dumping air on each other, and trying to slow each other down. So if you start going again--

- Here, let's clear this off. We'll roll the tape.

- So right here, you can see Kyle Larson was actually coming down the hill. His right side tires were here, but he was coming down the hill kind of to get the away from the force. So he couldn't dump air on him. But then he stopped. And that's not the 42's fault. He has every right to do that. But I think Harvick still anticipated that he was going to continue running down the hill this way. And then, when that didn't happen, they made contact.

- And when you're going that fast, let's face it. I mean, things can happen and it's out of your control. Harvick, though, here, does an incredible job of keeping it off the inside wall, which ultimately allows him to stay in the race.

- Yeah, I mean, that's critical. I mean, I think any time that you get out of one of these races and lose those valuable points is big. So he was able to know clear that wall, did a really good job saving it, and was able to come back.

- Giving credit where credit is due, Larson not only stays in the game. He finishes in the top five. That's not easy given this heavy contact.

- It really isn't. Obviously, you know, you can Harvick's loose right here, pointing in the direction that I was talking about. But when they made contact, Kyle could easily, you know, had a big issue there. And he saved it as well. So that was a, you know, kudos to what he did.

- Side draft has become one of those buzz phrases. We talk about so much now in NASCAR. Drivers do it so often. Is it me, or does it look like a lot of times, drivers are trying to wreck somebody, when in actuality, they're just trying to get close, get that side draft?

- It's really aggressive. And in a place like California, where it's so wide, it looks even more aggressive. Because guys are trying to get completely away from each other. And when this guy pulls away from me, you've got to make a drastic move to get to him. Because if you get there too late, you miss it. You don't get the opportunity to slow him down. So, there was a couple of times that it does look like. It looks like they're trying to go after each other.

- Harvick has the crash. They did stay in the game as we talked about, and got a couple of points, which could be big as we wind down the regular season. You look at the day, though, for Kyle Larson. This team doing some positive things. That qualify up here. Here's the wreck with Harvick. Worked their way back to the top five. Had another mechanical issue. But finish in the second position. What does that say to you about team 42?

- Well, I think it says a lot about their strength. You know, and obviously, they've done a good job figuring the Chevrolet out. He's been the strongest Chevrolet pretty much all year. But to be able to go to the back like that or to fall as far as they did and recover in such a short amount of time is a big deal. Cause it's not that easy to pass. Even though that place is wide, it's not that easy to move through the field.

- You need confidence. And days like this can help provide it.