Matt Kenseth will be the pole-sitter for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, something that puts him in prime position for a strong finish at the second “Eliminator Round” race.
But Kevin Harvick might have something to say about it.
One of the main storylines going into the race is if Harvick retaliates at some point on Kenseth, who unintentionally wrecked him Sunday at Martinsville.
The wreck sent Harvick into the wall and to a 33rd-place finish, possibly ending his championship hopes. Kenseth finished sixth and sits in fourth in points this round.
Harvick now needs a win at Texas or next week at Phoenix to make the final four and contend for the championship at the season-ending race at Miami-Homestead.
After Martinsville, Harvick expressed his displeasure with Kenseth by saying: “He won’t win this championship. If we don’t, he won’t.”
Kenseth met with Harvick earlier Friday to try to smooth the hard feelings over, but it might not be possible.
All signs pointed to Harvick remaining furious with Kenseth. Harvick blew off reporters for most of the day before telling USA Today that he “absolutely” feels the same way he did following the Martinsville wreck.
Kenseth gets it and still feels bad about the accident.
“I honestly couldn’t feel any worse about it,” Kenseth said. “Only way maybe you feel worse is if you wrecked a teammate. You hate stuff like that to happen, and then in this format, to take him out of that race with as much as I like and respect Kevin.”
Kenseth, though, went on to say that he can’t run Sunday’s race thinking about what Harvick may or may not do.
“You’ve got to move on and concentrate on what’s in front of you and not look backwards,” said Kenseth, who won his first career pole at TMS.
“But you feel pretty rotten about it because I’ve been racing a long time, and I’m typically not known for wrecking a lot and making mistakes like that, and the timing couldn’t have been any worse. So I feel bad about that.”
Stewart hits 200 mph
Tony Stewart put his name in the record books Friday.
He was clocked at 200.111 mph in the second round of qualifying, the first NASCAR driver to have a 200-plus mph qualifying lap on a 1.5-mile track.
“It is always cool to be the first guy to be able to do anything,” Stewart said. “To be the first to run 200 mph average on a 1.5-mile is pretty cool.”
Stewart ended up qualifying sixth for Sunday’s race and is looking to build off a fourth-place run at Martinsville last week.
This story was originally published October 31, 2014 9:15 PM.