Kevin Harvick says he has a ‘respectful rivalry’ with Kyle Busch

Video Details

Kevin Harvick checks in with 'NASCAR Race Hub' to talk about his win in New Hampshire and his relationship with Kyle Busch.

- Kevin, congratulations. Great win this morning, this weekend. I want to know, how do you explain to Keelan, your son, that you're not bringing him home a miles a monster, but you're bringing him home a huge water animal that's going to be mounted--

- A water bug.

- Water bug, that's going to be mounted to a piece of wood? How do you explain that one to him?

- Well, I threaten him with it first, and tell him that it's going to wind up in his bed, and try to see if we can get a reaction out of him. And then he realizes that I'm actually not going to put it in his bed. But no, it's a pretty cool trophy, and obviously, it's unique and different and represents the region. And I think I didn't have the anxiety attack that Denny Hamlin had last year when he picked up the lobster.

- So Kevin, five years ago you made what might be arguably the biggest decision anyone could make professionally, to switch teams from RCR to Stewart-Hass Racing. And we just got done showing the numbers on the performance. You're having again, career you've ever had. And it's not like you left the team where you weren't winning. You were winning there, but now you're winning even more. So we know what it means to you professionally. But what does it mean to you personally to have this level of success you're having this year?

- Well, as you know, Brad, I mean this is what you strive for in your racing career. To put yourself in a position to be competitive every week. To put yourself in a position to win a championship. And to be able to actually go out and perform at a level to achieve those goals, is kind of like fulfilling your dream. And I know we've seen Jimmy Johnson do it for a number of years and be able to win races and championships.

But to actually experience it yourself on a consistent basis is something that I'm really proud of, and really for me, I get as much excitement out of seeing those guys spraying beer and champagne in victory lane, as I do myself. Just because, we're all in this together. It takes a lot of work, and there's a lot of people involved. And to be able to celebrate it with a group of guys that basically started with me at Stewart-Hass Racing has been a lot of fun.

- Hey, Kevin, I just want to thank you, first of all, for letting me be on the edge of my seat during that race on Sunday. That was really exciting, and I watched that vividly. And I was like, he's going to do it, no he's not, oh yes he is. So anyway, I was just all over that. But I want to know from your point of view, I was watching Kyle when he got loose off of turn four and you were catching him. But did you think you could have caught him?

I mean, you think before that, you were going to catch him? It just might take a while? Or did it happen so fast and you had to make a reaction, because you didn't know if you had another shot, to get him. And when you did get to him and you bumped him a little bit, and then when you passed him, did you go, that might have been too soon? Kind of want to know what was going through your mind when you caught him and were you surprised you caught him that fast?

- Well, I was having flashbacks of Michigan where I was patient and not aggressive when I had the opportunity to get right to where I needed to in Michigan, and it wound up starting to rain. And I saw the raindrops on the window and I'm like, as soon as I get there, I have to try to execute the pass and not mess around. We may not make it to the end of this race. And I was aggressive and didn't want to wreck him, but I wanted to be able to get the lead and be aggressive with the move.

And for me, it was a situation that I thought worked out how I wanted it to work out, and wound up winning the race. So obviously, a lot of people say well, you ran into the back of him and you did this and you did that, and look, that's what you got to do. That was a 10-point swing for us from a playoff point standpoint, from him winning the race to us winning the race. And that's what it's all about right now.

- Kevin, when you look at you and Kyle, and not just this weekend, the whole season. And a lot of similarities in your career, as well. Would you describe this, what you have with the 18 and with Kyle Busch as respect or rivalry? Particularly as you move forward in this season.

- Well, I think there's a respectful rivalry there. I love I Kyle Busch and I love the things that he does and the things that he can do in a race car are great. And as a team, we love beating him. And as a driver, I love beating him. And you go on the race track and that's your goal, is to go out and beat the best. And right now, it's been the 18 and 78 and they've been the cars to beat over the last few weeks.

And we had to go up there and make something happen, and we were able to do that. So I think as you look at that, I look at it as you bumped him out of the way and you did what you had to do to win the race. I'm sure if I'd have been second and got knocked or been leading and got knocked out of the way, I'd view it a little bit differently. So it's just one of those situations where I felt like that was what I needed to do for my team.

- It's a good thing for us, the fans, we have 16 more races to kind of watch how this whole thing play out between not only the two of you, but all three of you guys.