Kevin Harvick explains his decision to become more outspoken


Kevin Harvick explained his move to become more vocal about safety.

Kevin Harvick has been very vocal about Next Gen Cup Series cars and driver safety in recent weeks. He has now explained his decision to become the outspoken leader on this important matter.

Harvick met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway for just under 15 minutes, and spent the entire time talking about fires, slams and other safety concerns. He said he did not receive any phone calls from NASCAR and that he used the media to get his message across. Then Harvick explained why he took this approach.

“It feels like the right thing to do for my teammates,” Harvick explained. “You watched it. You watched this whole process when it’s so slow. You want to believe it’s going to happen, right? Just the process and the way things are going.”

Harvick’s potential boiling point occurred during the opening game at Darlington Raceway. His car caught fire without any previous contact with the wall or any other driver. Harvick got out of his car and made strong comments to several members of the media about the cars being used. Meanwhile, crew chief Rodney Childers posted a video on Instagram showing him burning the materials that line the interior of the vehicles.

NASCAR made some changes ahead of the weekend at Kansas Speedway with the ultimate goal of preventing these fires that were prevalent during the 2022 season. Although Harvick noted that this change could have been made earlier.

“Why does the foam melt? Do we know these answers?” asked Harvick while he was there. “They’re not as fire retardant as they should be. The only reason I stopped this weekend was because the flame was rising from inside the car. Because that was all steel in there. And you look at the foam, all the foam, it looks like marshmallows .

“So, you know, I think now it’s completely covered in the paint we applied a couple of months ago. That doesn’t catch fire on the right side of the car. Like I say things have progressed. And here we are today. But it can’t be slow. There’s no reason. It’s not It’s fair that the drivers are at risk like now and at least we don’t have a forward plan. And it’s not just a back clip. It’s a front clip, a back clip, a side clip, every hit hurts.”

Harvick has the support of her fellow drivers

Ryan Blaney

GTRyan Blaney (left) showed his support for Kevin Harvick (right).

Harvick has been the most vocal driver about safety and potential issues he sees with the next generation car. This caught the attention of his fellow competitors, and many showed their support.

Ryan Blaney, in particular, commented that he thinks “this speaks more volume” when Harvick makes these statements. Blaney added that he can’t speak for everyone in the trophy chain garage, but he “loves what Kevin does” in the media.

“It has a lot of weight,” said Blaney. “Kevin was right around the corner. He saw all these different race cars. There are a lot of guys who have seen all these different types of cars, from COT (Car of Tomorrow) to the previous generation and this generation. Even some… a lot of guys, BEFORE COT .

“They’ve just seen everything, they’ve tried everything, so they’ve got the most knowledge of different types of cars and how safety has come in the last 15-20 years. They have a lot of oomph when it comes to these things, I just feel, because they have more Experience “.

Harvick called for an independent committee to contribute

How does NASCAR fix safety concerns? Harvick doesn’t think this is something they can achieve while on vacation. The short time will make it difficult to get everything done by Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum, he explained.

One thing Harvick advocated was for NASCAR to implement an independent panel. There is a Drivers Advisory Board that includes former driver Jeff Burton, as well as Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Cory Lagoy, Austin Dillon and Joey Logano. However, Harvick believes the independent commission can move faster while implementing the changes.

“Safety can’t be about money,” Harvick added. “I watched…I watched when we had all the trouble with Adam. [Petty] And Kenny Irwin and then it resulted in Dale Earnhardt and then suddenly wearing Hans hardware was mandatory, and wearing Hutchins was mandatory.

“We’ve developed soft walls. It can’t be slow, safety can’t be slow. This car…it’s as broken as the way it crashes. And whether the data says it or not, every driver in that garage will tell you it’s not right and it hurts. Foot It hurts, the hands hurt, the head hurts. And there must be a better solution.”

According to NASCAR, there is an independent panel that consults with it about safety issues and the next generation car. This group includes Jeff Crandall, who serves as director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia, and Barry S. Myers, a Duke University faculty member in biomedical engineering and orthopedics.

The other two members of the panel are James Radin, Jr., a physician and engineer who focuses on predicting the human impacts and biomechanics of injuries, and Joel Steitzl, Jr., chair of the College of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Tech Wake Forest.


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