BY DAVE GRAYSON
Okay, we all saw the post race drama that developed following the conclusion of Saturday night’s Bank Of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keselowski versus Hamlin followed by Kenseth versus Keselowski. The entire ugly scene resembled one of those pay per view events presented by World Wrestling Entertainment.
Setting the post race, middle of the Chase, drama aside at least for a moment, let’s not overlook the fact that at least one person was having a good time at Charlotte. Ironically, that man has the nickname of “Happy”
While ABC Sports was treating us to live television coverage of garage area mayhem, Kevin “Happy” Havick was standing in victory lane with a smile on his face and a giant can of Budweiser in his hand.
He had just accomplished something significant that is very hard to do these days: win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. He did it for the third time this year, the third time at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the 26th time in his career.
However, the biggest accomplishment of all was the fact that Harvick earned himself a free pass to round three of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Chase For The Sprint Cup Championship. That’s huge and will relieve a lot of team pressure and angst with the Talladega Super Speedway next on the schedule.
Round two of the Chase line up was fully loaded with driver and team challenges at Kansas and Charlotte with Talledega still to come. Talledega, with its propensity for the “big one”, is the next focal point. That race has an easy capability of becoming a hero or zero Chase maker.
Kevin Harvick was well aware of this. During an interview between the Kansas and Charlotte events he said “the best way to avoid Talladega is to win at Charlotte.”
Clearly he heeded his own good advice.
Post Charlotte race Tuesday will likely create some rather interesting scenarios during team briefing sessions:
It’s likely that drivers Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth will be meeting with team owners to explain their positions during all of that post race drama.
It’s likely that team owners, or at least their designated corporate officers, will be on the telephone explaining all of that drama to sponsors.
It’s likely the personnel from the team’s fabrication shops will be overly busy repairing all of that drama.
It’s likely that NASCAR officials will be in deep meetings examining notes and video tape to determine what level of action all of that drama deserves.
Meanwhile at Stewart-Haas Racing, it’s likely Kevin Harvick will be meeting with his team and everyone of them will be holding another one of those giant cans of Budweiser.