Harvick blames ‘crappy parts’ after fiery end at Darlington

Kevin Harvick needed a strong start to his Playoff run, and for nearly half of Sunday’s Southern 500 he was having just that.

Harvick ran inside the top 10 for much of the race and seemed to be set for a decent finish, but on lap 277 when his night came to a spectacular, flaming end. Coming down the front stretch, Harvick’s Ford began showing flames out of the right side. Harvick slowed and soon flames were engulfing both sides of the car. He came to a stop and quickly exited the flaming machine.

It was at least the fifth time this season a Ford Next Gen car has suffered a fire during a race.

Harvick was scored with a DNF in 33rd place. Needless to say he wasn’t happy about his early end.

“I’m sure it’s just crappy parts on the race car like we’ve seen so many times,” he said. “They haven’t fixed anything.  It’s kind of like the safety stuff.  We just let it keep going and keep going.”

Harvick said he saw flames start a few laps prior.

“As it burned the flames started coming through the dash,” he said. “I ran a couple laps and then as the flame got bigger it started burning stuff up and I think right there you see all the brake fluid that was probably coming out the brakes and part of the brake line, but the fire was coming through the dash.

“What a disaster for no reason.  We didn’t touch the wall.  We didn’t touch a car and here we are in the pits with a burned-up car, and we can’t finish the race during the playoffs because of crappy ass parts.”

Harvick said it wasn’t an engine issue.

“No, I just stopped,” he said. “The rocker was on fire for a couple laps.  I just stopped because I couldn’t see anymore because the flames were coming through the dash, and I couldn’t make myself sit in there and burn up.”

Harvick was obviously frustrated with the ending to his race, and chance a strong start to the Playoffs.

“We just keep letting cars burn up,” he said. “Letting people crash into stuff, get hurt and we don’t fix anything. Now we’re just riding around, and cars catch on fire. Just shitty parts.”

Harvick directed his anger at NASCAR officials and the new Next Gen car.

“They don’t care. It’s cheaper to not fix it,” he said. Adding that he felt the only way to fit it is: “Find someone to run the show who can run it.”

Greg Engle