“Understand Their Pain” – Denny Hamlin Reveals Conversations With Kevin Harvick After His Shocking Elimination From NASCAR Cup Series 2020

Published 11/07/2020, 9:45 AM EST
Nov 1, 2020; Martinsville, VA, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth (42) during the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports


The elimination of Kevin Harvick in the Round of 8 caused a stir of varied reactions around the world. The fact that the seven-time race winner in the regular season was ousted, came as a disappointment to him. Denny Hamlin, who finished above the cutoff line to make the final four, sympathized with Harvick.

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He also knows it will be different when he goes racing against the Stewart-Haas Racing man.

Speaking in the pre-race media conference, Hamlin stated, “I continued to have conversations with Kevin this week, just talking about the season and kind of‑‑ it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to go head to head and things like that. Even though we will, it’s just different.”

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Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have a lot of respect for each other

Harvick and Hamlin won 13 of the 26 races conducted prior to the playoffs. All that counted for naught in the end. However, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver feels Harvick deserved to be racing in the Championship race.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota speaks with members of the media during NASCAR 2019 Championship 4 Media Day at the Edition Hotel on November 14, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“Most of the year we kind of looked at its head to head, me and him, right. I think obviously in my mind he was deserving of racing for a championship but didn’t earn it because of the system, right.”

The consistency from the two experienced drivers would have certainly made for an interesting matchup at Phoenix. Such is the tricky nature that one has to be on the money to advance to the consequent rounds in the playoffs.

Harvick did not have a great Round of 8 to go through

After blitzing the normal season of 26 races, Harvick should have carried on with the momentum. However, finishing outside of the Top 10 twice barring Kansas, saw him get eliminated.

“He had a couple mediocre finishes, not races but just finishes. And it didn’t allow him to move on, even though he’s put together just an unbelievable season.”

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Oct 18, 2020; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) races during the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

“We’ve had those conversations. And certainly, I’m not going to view if we win it any different whether he was in or out I guess you could say,” Hamlin said.

“I’ve talked to Rodney (Childers), I’ve talked to Kevin, and yeah, I mean, I understand their pain,” concluded Hamlin in his comments.

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Perhaps a higher finish in Martinsville would have tilted the tide in Harvick’s favor. Nevertheless, the onus is now on Hamlin to take the impetus, and secure his maiden Cup Series championship.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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