NASCAR Cup Series
Kevin Harvick reminisces on 2011 Darlington fight with Kyle Busch
NASCAR Cup Series

Kevin Harvick reminisces on 2011 Darlington fight with Kyle Busch

Published May. 9, 2024 3:58 p.m. ET

Once upon a time ago at Darlington Raceway, Kevin Harvick wanted to put a dent in Kyle Busch — and not in his car.

In the final laps of the 2011 running of the Southern 500, Harvick and Busch were making continual contact, with Busch later turning Harvick into the wall. (As a sidenote, the back-and-forth between the two drivers sent Harvick's now-FOX teammate Clint Bowyer directly into a barrier.)

After the race, the two drivers crossed paths on pit road, with Harvick abandoning his car — which went into a barrier — to go after Busch, who remained in his car and drove away. 

On the latest edition of "Kevin Harvick's Happy Hour," Harvick chronicled what happened from his perspective.


"I recall my shoulder still hurting because as I went in to punch him in the head, he decided to take off in his car. Right here, he knew he was going to get punched in the head," Harvick said while re-watching the run-in with Busch. "He decided that, ‘I'm not going to get punched in the head.'"

The incident led to quite a post-race conversation between Harvick and Busch and their respective team owners.

"We went up in the [NASCAR] trailer — and Kyle and I had been in the trailer a lot together over instances — but that night, I'll never forget it, because that was one of those nights that Joe Gibbs and Richard [Childress] had to go to the trailer, as well, because they were supposed to be in charge of their drivers," Harvick said. "And Joe Gibbs said something, and I said something back. Joe actually wrote me a letter after that meeting of just, ‘Hey, this, this and this.' 

"It's funny how those types of things happen and lead to new conversations about who you are, what you are, whatever that conversation is about. It was just a very intense conversation."

As for how the race ended, Regan Smith edged out Carl Edwards for the win.

Kevin Harvick's best stories from racing at Darlington

William Byron and Kyle Larson won last season's Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway.

Several racers will be driving throwback-style cars at Darlington on Sunday in the Goodyear 400 (3 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). Alex Bowman's No. 48 car will resemble the color scheme of Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Lowe's car and Larson's No. 5 car will mirror that of Terry Labonte's No. 5 ride, among others.

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Kevin Harvick
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