The Frontstretch: Did Harvick Deserve A Pat Or A Shove In The Back? by Jess Nicholas -- Thursday November 9, 2006

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Did Harvick Deserve A Pat Or A Shove In The Back?

Scanner Static : Fan Q & A · Jess Nicholas · Thursday November 9, 2006

 

Q: Why does everyone talk about Robby Gordon being a bad driver or Jimmie Johnson being dangerous when Kevin Harvick still has a ride? He ran over, just simply ran over Scott Riggs. I can understand why Riggs' crewmember got upset; I would have knocked the (expletive) out of Harvick as soon as he popped back up from falling. Why won't NASCAR punish Harvick? Is it because he drives Dale's old car? HarryMan

A: Harvick's bump was inexcusable. You could see it coming and it was almost like watching a train wreck unfold at slow speed. You couldn't believe he was going to run over Riggs, and then he did. But honestly, can NASCAR punish him after he essentially did the same thing Jeff Gordon did to Matt Kenseth earlier in the year? The precedent has been set.

Q: I don't care what Harvick and Riggs had going on on the track; there's no defense for ever touching a woman, much less pushing her down. I hope Riggs' crewmember gets arrested for assault. ryu8321

A: Ordinarily, I would certainly agree with that. In this case, though - and this has nothing to do with the on-track incident - I wasn't there and I don't know what DeLana Harvick said. I do know her mouth is at the very least a rival to Kevin's own. I've heard her pop off before and quite frankly, female or not, if you're going to be confrontational in life, sooner or later you'll invite trouble for yourself. It could be that Riggs' crewmember was 100 percent at fault, and if he was, he'll be dealt with accordingly. I'm just saying I'm not sure we've got the whole story, or will ever have it.

Q: Jess, thanks for taking the time to read this. I know NASCAR needs to get paid by the sponsors, but whew! Every time I watch a race, it seems there are endless commercials. Hundreds and hundreds of them, it seems. I’m getting close to not wanting to tune in anymore. What do you think? Denise

A: I've seen the stats on Jayski and I've heard people say how it's no different from sitcom television, blah, blah, blah. All I know is that there are too many of them, too often at crucial times of the race, and when Bill Weber is having to apologize for going to commercial break, that should be a sign the network is hearing a lot of complaints. But do I expect it to change? No, I actually expect it to get worse. Our televised product is fast becoming less a race and more a four-hour marketing special.

Q: You know NASCAR has its finger on all drivers' futures when even drivers like Robby Gordon who was always so outspoken now just grin and bear it. What a shame that the drivers have become so vanilla. Get back to the real feelings, heck the sponsors will get more attention over controversy. Mike Millis

A: Yeah, but do the sponsors really want to see their driver throwing a helmet through Michael Waltrip's car, like Gordon did last year? Maybe, maybe not. I guess it depends on who you're driving for. But it does seem like Robby gets picked on too much.

Q: I want to take a moment to thank Terry Labonte for being great to me and my son the couple of times we were lucky enough to meet him. I'd also like to thank him for a great career. And I'd like to say (expletive) to Rick Hendrick for putting Labonte in that piece of (expletive) at Texas. Terry deserved better than what he got this year. Big Jack

A: I agree, Jack. Terry's best runs were almost all in the No. 96, a one-car team in its first year. If I were Rick Hendrick, I'd drop back to a three-car team, because it's obvious they can't adequately keep all their ducks in a row over there when they're larger. I would say that if I was Terry Labonte, I'd be complaining - but Terry wouldn't complain, and we all know that.

Think you’ve got an idea to stop the onslaught of commercials in NASCAR? Did you plant a bug on Kevin Harvick and know the REAL story behind the Harvick-Riggs crew member confrontation? Email Jess at jess@frontstretch.com and let us know…or send us another NASCAR-related question or comment, and you could appear in this very same space next week!

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Nikki
11/09/2006 08:27 AM
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A couple notes: From everything I’ve read and heard about the account (and I admit I haven’t read it all), he pushed Kevin Harvick and knocked him into DeLana. And as far as being arrested for assault, is it really THAT much different than when Gordon pushed Kenseth? Kenseth may have fallen too, if he didn’t have people beside him to help. And no matter what DeLana may or may have not said, she would not deserve to be pushed, even if she was doing a lot of talking.

Mike
11/09/2006 09:27 AM
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Harvick did not touch Riggs car in turn four. Was he really close? Yes. Could he have waited? Possibly. However, it was late in the race which is “go time”. He had a run on Riggs and made him loose but he did not touch his car. As far as the off track altercation, let the drivers settle it. Crew members can fight with other crew members, but let the drivers settle their disputes among themselves.

Kelli
11/09/2006 10:11 AM
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Come on! I don’t know what race you were watching, but Harvick never touched Riggs just took the draft off him. It’s not Harvick’s fault that Riggs couldn’t handle his car. He’s got a lot to learn & this was a learning lesson. Harvick didn’t intend on wrecking Riggs, just moving him over. That’s racing and they ALL do it!!!!!!

Nikki
11/09/2006 03:30 PM
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From what I saw, it looked like the 29 car touched the 10, but if so, he did it after Riggs already lost it. He was probably going to wreck with or without Harvick’s help. Same exact thing that happened to Earnhardt Jr. earlier in the race, but lucky for him, he was already up close to the wall and didn’t have time to gain all that momentum, like Riggs did when his car hit from the front.

It looks to me like once Riggs got squirley, Harvick held his line, held the throttle and kept going. I think he could have backed off a bit to see if Riggs could gather it back up, but it was go time, and drivers usually don’t in that situation. I do find it funny, however, that right before that wreck happened, after Johnson got around Riggs, I said aloud to myself, “Get out of the way, Scott, Harvick will dump you.”

Rick Bourdon
11/09/2006 06:55 PM
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What did Riggs expect to happen? In the waning laps of a race, when another car is considerably faster than your car because of tires, and you slam the door on them and block them, the way Riggs did to Harvick in 3, what do you think is going to happen when the cars get to 4? I know a lot of people are saying that Harvick should have shown more patience, however, Harvick’s patience would have been a moot point had Riggs just got out of his way. Somebody on Riggs’ team had to realize that Harvick was considerably faster and was going to have one heck of run on. All it would have taken was some one to say on the radio, “The 29 car is coming real fast. Let’em go. We’re still working on a top 5 finish.”

Jerome
11/10/2006 05:57 AM
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Harvick admitted he did hit Riggs, after Riggs got loose and Harvick could not back off in time.

I,like Nikki, knew something was going to happen when johson got around riggs.
It may have been “go time”, but it seemed to me that Harvick could have waited until he got to the straight away to make a move, or could have waited until the next corner to get under Riggs and force him wide.
As far as what Delana may have said: no woman should ever be hit/shoved by a guy (unless he is trying to prevent her from driving an ice pick through his eye). That being said, where I grew up there was a code that the man was responsible for what came out of the mouth of his companion.

jackman07
11/10/2006 06:59 AM
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Riggs had been wrecking for 2 laps, he just hadn’t hit anything yet. He’d tried to block Jimmie, who was a little more patient, but when Harvick got to him, it was time to go. Whether he touched him or not isn’t the issue. If your car is that loose and you’re still trying to block cars that are faster, you should know that eventually you’re going to get moved. If Harvick hadn’t done it, Kyle Busch was right behind him, and he would have done it.

MRhodes
11/10/2006 07:07 AM
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Dont you people realize that most important story is Jr. had a cold?

Don
11/10/2006 09:32 AM
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jackman07, Great job of pointing it out that Riggs was so loose I’m surprissed he didn’t wreck sooner, I’m no Harvick fan, but he did nothing wrong
MRhodes…. If Jr had stayed home, we would have spent half of the race watching him laying in his bed.

ERIN
11/10/2006 01:28 PM
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Well..I guess this is what it is about…who hit whom..on and off the track. I don’t believe the intent was to hit or knock Delana down..so the “ohhhh you just don’t hit a woman” really doesn’t apply. (Although I am a woman and I know plenty of women who could use a good punch in the noggin at times..) The weird part about it to me is the crewmen did it right in front of the officials God and everyone! He really must have been enraged! How many times have we seen Harvick lunge at another driver or crewmember…?? Next time they need to take it away from the track! (And I do believe Delana could whip Kevin if she was really riled!) That is TOO funny!!

Frank
11/10/2006 01:34 PM
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In the South (and should be everywhere else), there is NEVER a reason for a man to push, shove, hit, etc. a woman. That is an inexcusable act under ay circumstance.

Frank Smith
Charleston, SC

mel smith
11/10/2006 01:44 PM
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Harmwreck did what he always does…...... wreckem’ because that takes less skill than passing. That is why 90% of the people watching knew what was coming. CONSISTENCY!

James
11/10/2006 02:03 PM
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Riggs was not “wrecking all over the track” – I’ve watched the replay of the laps leading up to the incident and his car did not seem to be any more or less loose than anybody else’s until he got squirrely when Johnson was getting ready to pass him. Harvick DID hit him. If it’s the last lap of the race, the logic goes both ways – you gotta go, but you also have to protect your line. By trying to “move” Riggs, Harvick put himself and other cars in jeapordy. As somebody else already said, had he waited until a straightaway, he would have gotten the position because he had a faster car.

I think that the whole “blocking” accusation in BS and it just shows how biased people are when it comes to “underdog” drivers like Riggs – had it been Jr., Johnson, or Stewart doing what Riggs was doing, it would have been called “hard racing”.

L.Parks
11/10/2006 02:53 PM
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I dont know what race HarryMan was watching,but my guess is that if Harry would stay outta the kitchen getting snack after snack he might would know what was going on during the race!!!!

Tony Clifton
11/10/2006 04:21 PM
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I think HarryMan was watching the race where Kevin Harvick wrecked Scott Riggs. Didn’t Harvick have an in car camera? I think it’s interesting that we didn’t see any replays from that. I felt bad for Riggs – that team is going to get a win real soon I think.

Ted Main
11/10/2006 07:59 PM
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Too bad Nascar doesn’t step up and penalize “ALL” the drivers for moving someone out of the way, come on get real you whiners,,its part of racing and always will be, Go Harvick, TWC

Tony Clifton
11/10/2006 08:27 PM
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Teddy Bear,

There’s moving somebody out of the way and there is wrecking somebody. Big difference.

Chris
11/11/2006 10:04 AM
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You guys still don’t get it …Junior had a cold

 

Jess no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can still read all his articles on his archive and bio page.