Hamlin was leading on lap 162 Saturday night when Harvick was following him on the straightaway. As Harvick's car drifted towards the wall, he wasn't completely behind Hamlin and made contact with Hamlin's bumper, sending him spinning.
After Hamlin's car bounced off the inside wall, he collected Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose car got sheared on the left side like a can opener.
Hamlin emerged from his car unscathed but ticked. He tossed his HANS device at Harvick's car as Harvick drove by.
"Last year he was just not paying attention and he didn't know that I had a cut tire last year and he just thinks he knows everything and probably thought he knew everything again," Hamlin said. "I just wish I had some kind of car left so I could show him the favor back. We're not even halfway, we're racing for the lead -- it's a misjudgment. He's a good driver. He knows better, he just made a mistake."
Harvick apologized on the radio (and on Twitter) afterwards and said the move was not intentional. And yes, Hamlin did follow the new NASCAR protocol that bars drivers from exiting their cars before safety workers arrive in aftermath of Kevin Ward's death on August 9 at a sprint car race in New York.
As you can see from the video above, Hamlin threw his HANS device while near one of the safety trucks around him and did not venture out towards Harvick's car in what could be considered a dangerous manner. Plus, there's nothing in NASCAR's new rule that bans the throwing of equipment at cars. If drivers want to do it like Hamlin did Saturday night, they're going to have to work at long-tossing.
The incident Hamlin references last year is when Hamlin had a cut tire from contact with Brian Vickers. Harvick got into the back of him and a mess of cars were collected. After the crash, Harvick parked his car in Hamlin's pit stall and Hamlin pushed Harvick's car out of it with his own.
Harvick ended up 11th after a late race speeding penalty. Hamlin finished 40th.
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- Kevin Harvick
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