Kevin Harvick doesn’t think that President Donald Trump’s baseless allegation against Bubba Wallace is going to have any tangible impact on NASCAR and its drivers’ actions.
Harvick called Trump’s Monday tweet “misinformed” after the president said that Wallace needed to apologize for a “hoax” at Talladega. The noose found by a crew member of Wallace’s in his Talladega garage was very real.
“I think as a sport, I think everybody saw what our community is about at Talladega,” Harvick told ESPN’s Golic and Wingo. “I’ve been on several sides of this in being able to see and lean on the support of our NASCAR community and the people inside of our sport and in the garage and whether the circumstances turned out like they did or didn’t at Talladega, the unity of our garage and the family atmosphere that is created in our community is not like anything else in any other sport.
“Most of these people have been around for a number of years, been around each other, our kids have grown up around each other, a lot of the kids who raced together in a previous generation grew up together and it’s a great community to be a part of. And not many people outside of it understand the unity that comes with the NASCAR garage. The tweet doesn’t change anything about — there’s definitely some misinformed information inside of that tweet that doesn’t represent anything that’s going on.”
“A misinformed tweet is not gonna change the unity and the direction of our sport and our garage, and the way that we feel about each other.”— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) July 7, 2020
-@KevinHarvick on the tweet that President Trump sent about NASCAR's ratings and Bubba Wallace. pic.twitter.com/BjKgtsZRPE
NASCAR informed Wallace late in the afternoon on June 21 that the noose was hanging in his garage stall. As NASCAR and federal officials investigated the possibility of a hate crime, Wallace’s competitors walked with his car down pit road ahead of the following day’s rain-rescheduled race.
Federal investigators said the following day that no charges would be filed because the noose had been hanging there since October. Two days after that announcement, NASCAR released a photo of the noose and said Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega — a stall that was assigned ahead of the race weekend — was the only garage stall among nearly 1,700 at 29 tracks that had a noose knot tied into the door rope.
Again, it was not a hoax.
“You look at the circumstances and the reaction that they had at Talladega; if you do that any other way and it doesn’t work out the way that it did, the circumstances are way worse on the other side,” Harvick continued. “I support everything that we’re doing. I take my kids to the race track when they let me pretty much every weekend and I want people to be able to go to our racetracks and feel comfortable in our grandstands and we’re going to work as a group to make sure that happens. A misinformed tweet is not going to change the unity and direction of our sport and our garage and the way we feel about each other.”
“That part is unfortunate, but as a group we’re doing the right things and we will continue to do that moving forward.”
Harvick, 44, was one of the catalysts behind the decision to push Wallace’s car down pit road ahead of the Talladega race. The 2014 Cup Series champion is one of the leaders in the garage area and is also the leader in the points standings. Harvick got his fourth win of the 2020 season on Sunday at Indianapolis and is ahead of second place in the standings by more than a full race’s worth of points.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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