2013 Irwin Tools Night Race: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin have pit road confrontation

Kevin C. Cox

It had all the makings of another memorable Bristol moment, but before things escalated Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin came to a quick understanding and sorted out their differences.

Frayed tempers and angry drivers are a common occurrence at Bristol Motor Speedway and Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race was no different.

The most notable incident happened with 52 laps to go when a cut tire on Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota sent him into the path of a group of drivers. When the smoke cleared, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and others were all collected.

In the aftermath, an upset Harvick stopped his damaged car in Hamlin's pit box, who then proceeded to use his bumper to push Harvick out of his stall.

But the drama wasn't over as a typical Bristol skirmish seemed forthcoming when Harvick walked over to confront Hamlin as he sat in his car.

Cooler heads prevailed, however, as the two worked out their differences.

"(Harvick) was under the impression that I caused it," Hamlin said. "He didn't see the replay. I talked to him. Luckily, we were able to talk right away and hash it out. The 55 (Brian Vickers) just cut down on us right in the middle of the straightaway and it cut my right front tire.

"I'm just in the car and a steering wheel holder at that point. It caused a huge accident. It sucks, but I didn't cause it. I was one of the guys who got cut off.

His anger subsided, Harvick accepted Hamlin's explanation.

"I just saw the No. 11 shoot across the race track," Harvick said. "It looked like he was trying to swerve at somebody ... so I just wanted to know what happened.

"It's all good. It's Bristol racing and it's just something I wanted to know."

For Keselowski and Truex the wreck would have far-reaching consequences, as both entered Bristol on the Chase bubble. This is especially true for Keselowski who is winless on the year and fell out the top 10 in points after finishing 30th Saturday.

With two races remaining before the Chase field is set, the defending Sprint Cup champion is ranked 11th and is four points behind 10th-place Joey Logano.

"We've got two races left and I think they'll be good race tracks for us," Keselowski said. "Obviously, today was not a great day for us. We've tested at the next two tracks and we're gonna be very competitive. I feel like this is gonna come down to the last lap at Richmond and I'm ready for that battle."

More from SB Nation:

NASCAR power rankings: Michigan shakes things up

Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing working on deal

Rodney Childers to crew chief Kevin Harvick at SHR

Austin Dillon moving to Cup in 2014

Longform: The good times and hard life of Dick Trickle

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