Kevin Harvick had plenty to say during his turn in the Dover International Speedway media center on Friday morning. The session marked his first extensive public comments since his incident with Kyle Busch at Darlington.
Here are some of the highlights from Harvick's media availability:
ON THE INCIDENT AT DARLINGTON: "Yesterday, Kyle's explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway. It's kind of one lie after another. The way I was brought up and taught to race, when you hook somebody in the right-rear quarterpanel, that's the equivalent of gloves off in hockey. The only answer I get out of Kyle is, 'I'm a race car driver, not a fighter.' But when you drive like that, you're going to have to learn how to take care of yourself."
"Look, the wrecking doesn't bother me. The only thing that bothers me is the right-rear quarterpanel. In my mind, I know what that means. I don't mind getting wrecked back, if you think it's payback for Homestead. That part doesn't bother me. But when you throw (the gloves) off, it's time to handle it."
ON THE THURSDAY MEETING WITH BUSCH AND NASCAR OFFICIALS: "The meeting was just basically NASCAR explaining how probation worked, and that we needed to stay away from everybody, basically – and each other."
ON HIS UNDERSTANDING OF BOYS HAVE AT IT POLICY: "It's definitely to the point where it's a little bit confusing with how it all works. When you look at the 'Boys, have at it' theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process. ... Sometimes it's a one-lap penalty and sometimes you're parked for the race and ... there's a lot of different things happening. I understand that it's evolving, but from a drivers' standpoint, you don't 100 percent understand how it works."
ON HIS PROBATION PENALTY: "They stressed a lot to me that the penalties were for the pit-road violations after the race and the jeopardy that it put everybody in after the race. I understand all that. But yesterday (the talk from NASCAR) was all about being on probation and (actions) on the racetrack. Just a little bit confused about that. Nobody really had any clarification other than that we're on probation for four weeks. Now it's a penalty on the racetrack."
"There were no NASCAR officials in sight. They got what they wanted. In the end, you suffer the penalty for what is supposed to be on pit road but is carried over to the racetrack now. ... It was stressed to me it was for pit road, so it just doesn't make sense to me. .... I'm not complaining about it. I just want to understand it. And I don't understand it."
ON NASCAR'S LACK OF CONSISTENCY WITH PENALTIES: "There just has to be consistency. ... Just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is. If you're going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you're going to spin him out, if you're going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is."
"It can't be for a certain circumstance and how you wake up in the morning and how you think it needs to be treated. There has to be some guidelines on where it all is. You hear the upper brass talk about wanting to do things more like the NFL and this and that, but you have to be consistent in order to do that."
ON MENDING FENCES WITH KYLE BUSCH: "That probably won't ever happen."
ON WHY KYLE BUSCH'S TEAM DIDN'T RUN DOWN PIT ROAD TO DEFEND HIM: "The 18 team not backing him up – when you don't have a backbone, how can you back somebody up?"
ON WHETHER PROBATION WILL AFFECT HOW HE RACES: "It definitely affects how you race for the next four weeks. We got the ultimatum yesterday – an explanation of how probation works and how NASCAR expected us to race on the racetrack was put to us very clearly yesterday. How the next four weeks are expected to go was dictated to us yesterday very clearly in the NASCAR trailer."