Harvick's list of enemies growing again
The Kevin Harvick-Joey Logano run-in at Pocono Raceway Sunday was great theater, making highlight reels across the country and leading to a host of jokes and one-liners.
Harvick baited young Logano into losing his cool, causing him to do his best Kyle Busch imitation and making Logano’s spoiled-parent dad look silly.
Harvick also unintentionally made his “bossy” wife, DeLana, the butt of a few jokes when Logano cracked on her not-so-fashionable pit-road attire.
All in all, it was good drama and made for one of the more entertaining NASCAR feuds this year (and apparently has even spawned the creation of a hot-selling T-shirt).
But Harvick better think twice about stirring up such trouble if he wants to win a Sprint Cup championship.
Harvick is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career. He leads the points standings and has his best opportunity yet to win a Cup championship.
But he won’t do it if he keeps making enemies along the way.
Though he is putting himself in prime position to make a serious run at the title, Harvick also could be a target for a handful of drivers who would like nothing more than to spoil his championship run with a bit of retaliation.
You can go ahead and add Logano’s name to the top of the hit list.
Logano, 20, showed some fire and spunk we didn’t know he had when he pulled away from his crew and dad and rushed Harvick on pit road, spewing a few choice words at the driver 14 years his senior.
Logano was not just ticked at Harvick for spinning him with two laps remaining in the race; he was livid because it was not the first time it has happened. Harvick wrecked him in a Nationwide Series race earlier this year and admitted Sunday that he was trying to teach Logano some respect.
“I don’t know what I’ve ever done to piss him off, but he is apparently. It’s stupid,” Logano said.
It is Harvick, however, who has a tendency to get under people’s skin. He has a habit off taking shots at other drivers – both on and off the track – and has made his share of enemies over the years.
Carl Edwards hates him. The two scuffled in the Charlotte Motor Speedway garage in 2008 after trading barbs over a wreck at Talladega.
They apparently haven’t gotten over the incident, either. When Harvick called Edwards “fake” three months ago at Bristol, Edwards quickly went public with his disdain for Harvick.
“I have absolutely no respect for Kevin Harvick,” said Edwards, who grabbed Harvick by the throat in the 2008 incident. “I think he’s a bad person.”
Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya went toe-to-toe and helmet-to-helmet in 2007 at Watkins Glen, with Harvick threatening to “kick his ass.”
He tangled with Matt Kenseth at Pocono in 2004, with Harvick saying, “He needs to check his ego, because it’s getting too big.”
In 2002, Harvick leaped over Greg Biffle’s car on pit road at Bristol and got in his face over an incident on the track.
The next year, he did the same thing to the now-retired Ricky Rudd at Richmond.
Harvick has also squabbled with Kurt Busch over the years, taking multiple opportunities to make fun of Busch’s sometimes-quirky personality.
And though they have had few run-ins, it’s hard to imagine that Harvick and Kyle Busch, Kurt’s little brother, are real chummy.
Logano, Edwards, Montoya, Kenseth, Biffle, the Busch brothers. All are fiery competitors and have proven to be drivers you really don’t want to mess with.
Though most of those feuds are likely over, I doubt many of them invite the Harvicks over for dinner.
And most of them probably wouldn’t enjoy seeing Harvick crowned as the sport’s next champion.
The question is, how many of them have been waiting for the right opportunity to get even, taking advantage of the old adage that says revenge is best served cold?
We know Logano and Edwards would both like a piece of Harvick, and would love to retaliate in such a way that it cost Harvick valuable points, and maybe a victory or a championship.
Harvick crew chief Gil Martin warned Logano about making such a move.
“If Joey carries it past this race right here,” Martin said, “then he’s doing himself a harm. … This is a big sport with a lot of stuff at stake and if he carries this on to the next race track, it’s going to be to his detriment, not ours.”
It is Harvick, not Logano, who has the most at stake and the most to lose.
Logano likely won’t be racing for a championship this year. If he is, he’ll be a longshot, not a serious contender.
He better hope that Logano, Edwards or another one of his enemies doesn’t decide to get even at the wrong time – like during the Chase.
And he better hope that he doesn’t collect many more enemies before the end of the year.