Harvick wins at Charlotte as Hamlin and Kenseth are mad at Keselowski

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Harvick wins at Charlotte as Hamlin and Kenseth are mad at Keselowski
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Kevin Harvick sprinted away from Jeff Gordon on a green-white-checker restart to win at Charlotte Saturday night, but the race's drama didn't have anything to do with the lead.

On the final restart, Brad Keselowski restarted behind Denny Hamlin. He was unable to get around Hamlin as the field accelerated and he bumped Hamlin as the two went down the back straightaway. Then, after Keselowski failed to pass Hamlin again in the midst of a four-wide situation, his car started falling back. After the race was over, Hamlin was stopped in front of Keselowski in turn three and Keselowski tried to spin him out.

"We knew [Keselowski] was going to be aggressive because it's his only shot," Hamlin said. "He just ran right into us and knocked us off the racetrack and I showed him displeasure on the cool-down lap and I brake-checked him down the backstretch to give everyone the whole story and then he tried to spin us out. Then we got to pit lane and he just plowed into [Tony Stewart] and [Matt Kenseth]. [Kenseth], his belts were off and he ran into him and ran into us again coming on to pit road then he went through the garage and did burnouts and he knocked somebody's transmission clear through somebody else's pit stall so he was just out of control and we've got to think about us here going forward, that's the important thing. But NASCAR said no tolerance for stuff like that and you've got to just be a little bit more mature."

As the two got into the garage, Hamlin had to be restrained from going after Keselowski. As Keselowski got out of his car, he walked between the Team Penske haulers. Out of nowhere, Kenseth, Hamlin's teammate, rushed Keselowski from behind.

Kenseth was mad about contact that happened earlier in the race and contact that happened on pit road after the race. With 63 laps to go, Keselowski restarted on the outside of the first row. Kenseth was behind him. Kenseth went to pass Keselowski on the outside after the green flag waved and Keselowski moved to block, sending Kenseth into the wall. After the wall contact, the handling on Kenseth's car went away and his car started dropping through the field.

"On the restart I just rolled outside of him into the dogleg and he knew I was there, and just ran me out of room, ran me into the wall because he didn't want to get passed," Kenseth said. "Which I shouldn't have went there but there's a lot of guys you can race like that and they know you're there and they'll give you the room and he's usually one of them. He did it on purpose just ran me in the wall because he didn't want to get passed."

As Kenseth was approaching pit road after the cool-down lap and after Keselowski had tried to spin Denny Hamlin, Keselowski ran into the side of Kenseth's car. Then, after watching the melee from his rear-view mirror, Stewart played sheriff, threw his car into reverse and backed in to Keselowski's car.

"I think [Kenseth] got into the back of me on one of the restarts, it was just a racing deal, I wasn't mad at him, but when the last yellow came out he got the wave-around and when he came by and swung around at my car and tore the whole right front off of it," Keselowski said. "And when we were restarting fifth with no right front on it we fell all the way back to 16th and ruined our day and gave us a big Chase hurt which is unfortunate and for some reason after the race [Hamlin] stopped in front of me and tried to pick a fight. I don't know what that was all about and he swung and hit at my car and I figured if we're going to play car wars under yellow and after the race, I'll join too."

"Those guys can dish it out but they can't take it and I gave it back to them and now they want to fight so I don't know what's up with that."

Kenseth said he was in the process of getting unbuckled from his car when Keselowski hit him.

"But really the safety, he was doing something with Denny," Kenseth said. "I don't know if he was mad at him and I had my HANS off, my seatbelt off and everything and he clobbers me at like 50 [MPH], so the accidents and stuff we had around here … the race is over, come back to pit road. If he wants to come and talk about it like a man go do that but to try to wreck somebody on the race track and come down pit road with other cars and people standing around and my seatbelt's off, driving into the side of me is inexcusable. There's just no excuse for that. He's a champion, he's supposed to know better than that."

The only shot Hamlin referenced above is towards Keselowski's standing in the points. After a blown tire at Kansas, the 2012 champion needed to make up significant ground or win at Charlotte or Talladega to avoid elimination. A top five would have accomplished the former. Instead, Keselowski is 10th in the standings, 19 points away from eighth. The top eight in the standings transfer after Talladega. (Click here for a complete rundown of the Chase standings)

A driver who doesn't have to worry about transferring after Talladega? Harvick. Because of the win, he's now guaranteed advancement into the third round of the Chase along with last week's winner, Joey Logano.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!