The feud between Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin was the headliner on Sunday at Martinsville, but there was another feud between two playoff drivers that emerged during the race.
Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney battled throughout the race, and the two were displeased with one another following the conclusion of the race.
Harvick had a faster car, and he accused Blaney of driving too slow and basically blocking him. He was on the bumper of Blaney’s car for several laps, and neither driver was happy about it
“I just told him, I said, ‘Look, if you’re going to park it at Martinsville, you’re going to get hit,'” Harvick said according to AutoWeek. “He didn’t like getting hit, and I didn’t like the cheap shots, the brake checks and the hitting down the straightaway.
“It’s like I told him, I said, ‘If you want to race hard and you want to run into me after I pass you, that’s fine, but slamming me down the straightaway and brake-checking me is another thing.’ That’s the easy way to race.”
Blaney had far less to say about the issue after the race.
“We were just talking about how the race was and what we could do to avoid it the next time,” Blaney said.
Harvick met Blaney after the race for a heated conversation, and he walked away after a playful jab to the ribs. Blaney’s response was a bit harder, and it’s easy to tell there was some frustration in his response.
“It’s just Martinsville,” Harvick said via NBC Sports. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s championship time. It’s time to get physical. … Bent fenders, hurt feelings. I love it.”
Harvick finished fifth, while Blaney finished eighth. Harvick is currently fourth in the points, while Blaney is sixth with two races remaining in the Round of 8.
Racing fans should monitor both the Harvick and Blaney feud as well as the Elliott and Hamlin feud next week at Texas Motor Speedway.