NASCAR & Auto Racing

Harvick, Edwards exchange words, scuffle in garage

CONCORD, N.C. - If Carl Edwards was hoping to put his involvement in Sunday's 12-car wreck at Talladega Superspeedway behind him, he found no satisfaction on Thursday.

No satisfaction from his Roush Fenway Racing teammates collected in the accident and none from Kevin Harvick, who was also caught up in it and called Edwards a "pansy" afterwards in a TV interview.

In fact, a discussion of last weekend's events between Edwards and Harvick in the Nationwide Series garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway turned into a heated verbal and physical altercation when a series practice session was cut short by rain.

Witnesses said the incident started in the garage stall where Harvick's No. 33 Chevrolet was parked. Edwards had walked over from his area, two stalls down.

The conversation appeared to start amicably, but soon heated words were exchanged, the witnesses said. At one point, Harvick appeared to turn away from Edwards, who then reached for Harvick's shoulder, as if to turn him back around. Harvick responded by shoving Edwards, who landed on the No. 33 Chevrolet, denting the right-front section of the hood.

People who saw the altercation, including the driver of Harvick's motorcoach, Jeff Smith, jumped in to separate Edwards and Harvick, the witnesses said. At one point, Smith had Edwards in a headlock, they said, but the drivers apparently exchanged no punches.

Photos were taken of the incident, but were not made available.

Both drivers declined to comment on the incident and NASCAR officials said they considered it a "non-issue."

In the interview following wreck at Talladega, Harvick called Edwards a "pansy" for riding around in the back of the pack before eventually moving to the front and running with the leaders. Soon after joining the lead pack, Edwards' car hit teammate Greg Biffle's car, touching off the 12-car wreck that collected another teammate, Matt Kenseth, and Harvick, among others.

Before returning to North Carolina last weekend, Edwards left a handwritten note for Harvick with the pilot of Harvick's plane. The Observer and obtained a photo of the note, which said, "Kevin, Thanks for (expletive) me on TV - I was really trying to screw up everyone’s day. Love, Carl."

Earlier Thursday, Biffle said he and Edwards had talked about last week's incident and that Edwards "understands he made a mistake."

Biffle said Edwards was behind him and had been in position to bump-draft, but then Edwards moved down on the track. So he hit the rear bumper on the left corner rather than head-on.

"I know he didn't mean to do it. Certainly he didn't want to wreck himself, because that's what he did, he wrecked himself," Biffle said. "All we can do is learn from it and go on and move forward."

Edwards admitted he was upset with Harvick's comments at Talladega.

"We took care of that privately," he said. "I think that's the right way to do that - man-to-man - talk about stuff and make sure you understand how everybody feels."

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