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Kickin’ the Tires: What Did We Learn at Chicagoland Speedway?

There were some great teaching moments to come out of this weekend’s kickoff to the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship at Chicagoland Speedway – most notably DeLana Harvick doesn’t put up with any crap.

Following the race, Kevin Harvick was upset over his dismal finish, which occurred because he and Jimmie Johnson got together early in the race. The contact caused Harvick’s left rear to shred and sent him into the wall, with the result being that Harvick brought home a 42nd-place finish.

So, what does he do?

He comes out of his motor coach and punches Johnson in the clavicle, or the collar bone. The punch wasn’t hard but it was a bi**h move by Harvick, considering Johnson was just trying to explain or discuss what the heck happened on the track. You can see Johnson prepare to fight back but being the gentleman he is, he then tried to walk away.

But that wasn’t good enough for Harvick. He pursued Johnson until… enter (or in this case exit) DeLana Harvick from their SUV. In her most stern mom voice, with her finger in the air – like she’s done it a million times before – she tells Kevin to get in. Jolted back to reality, Kevin walked around and did as he was told.

What he didn’t know was everything was caught on video from the helicopter camera overhead. And that’s where the teachable moment comes into play. You never know where the cameras will be, so it’s best not to act like an ass or the entire NASCAR world might see your wife reminding you that she’s the boss.

In stark contrast, we learned that the guy who actually lost the race on a late-race caution for debris could be well-composed and address the media positively following the race. Sure, Kurt Busch was upset over losing after having led 39 laps but he didn’t fight anyone and he didn’t act like an ass.

He didn’t scream or curse or blame anyone. He turned lemons into lemonade; content with having a good points day. He wasn’t happy because he knows his record at New Hampshire isn’t the best but his finishing position gives him a little bit of cushion next week.

Denny Hamlin also taught us that apparently it doesn’t matter how many times you play basketball and blow out your knee, you can always come back and drive a racecar to Victory Lane. This is, at least, the second time Hamlin has raced hurt and found a way to win.

With one race down and two more to go before the end of the first elimination round, we learned why NBC Sports can post $16 million for a Perfect Grid Challenge. Aside from the fact that their money looks to be fairly safe, Harvick proved anything can happen in this sport. Now 22 points behind the 12th place driver, Harvick looks like he could be eliminated in the first round. How many people do you think had that playing out on their Chase grids?

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Bill B

What did we learn… nothing. We just confirmed that NASCAR Sprint Cup racing has become a crapshoot event where only the final restart after the last fake caution really matters.

JohnQ

Bingo! Maybe someday we’ll learn that you can keep calling turds chocolate bars but somehow they still taste like shit.

Chris

I believe that you mean the “Official Chocolate Bar of NASCAR”.

salb

And we also learned that the passion that used to be par for the course in Nascar has now become something that certain people despise as much as I despise the ‘corporate spokespersons’ that have robotized the drivers of today. What a shame.

russ

“Passion” is acting like a spoilt brat? I thought it was something like, oh, love of the sport, or drive to succeed. I stand corrected.

Robin1

We were reminded again that Delana Harvick wears the uniform in the family as Joey Logano said a couple of years ago.

Robert A

Harvick is a hot head and sore loser he was just harvicking and his wife still wears the fire suit

Kayla

I appreciate you giving credit where credit is due in terms of Kurt’s attitude change :) I’ve always been proud to be his fan regardless and love his passion, but it’s nice to see others taking note as well.

Steve

Is there going to be fights after every race now in the Chase? Is this another WWE aspect of Nascar racing that Brian France is happy with. This is really getting tiresome. Watching drivers whine and go after other drivers after every race because someone touched them on the track. Someone needs to slap these guys beside the and remind them this is auto racing and contact is going to be made once in a while.

Its funny how they all talk a good game about wanting the racing to be better with passing and beating and banging but on the track but when they are actually out there they get upset when anyone gets near them. These spoiled whiney millionaires need to put their big boy pants on and get with the program. I don’t agree with everything Jerry posts on here but I give him kudos for calling out Harvick. The guy is the biggest hypocrite in the garage and needs to grow a pair. And this is coming from someone who is far from a Johnson fan.

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