Although Kevin Harvick doesn't regret shoving Brad Keselowski last week in a move that triggered a brawl between Keselowski and Jeff Gordon, Harvick has had second thoughts about his actions.
As Keselowski and Gordon were arguing on Texas Motor Speedway's pit road, Harvick shoved Keselowski, who was attempting to walk away, in the back towards Gordon. A melee then ensued involving the teams of Keselowski and Gordon, leaving both drivers with cuts on their faces.
"I think in the end, I love the controversy, but I think in the end the difficult part for me is to go home and realize that one day you are going to have to answer those questions to your son," Harvick said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "It's definitely two different sides and how you have to look at it and how you have to approach it."
Gordon was upset after Keselowski attempted to split Jimmie Johnson and Gordon as they raced for the lead. When Keselowski drove between them, he body slammed Gordon's No. 24 car, resulting in Gordon suffering a flat tire that caused him to spin.
Running fourth at the time, Harvick had the ideal vantage point to the incident. He didn't take exception with Keselowski's bold maneuver, but Harvick thought Keselowski didn't conduct himself properly on pit road post-race. That's why he interjected himself in the Gordon/Keselowski pit road confrontation.
"I have no problem with the way Brad races," Harvick said. "I think he races hard. I think that is what we are all supposed to do. But, I think that the problem that I have with it I have been in that situation with him before and have him turn his back on me and just walk off. I don't think that is the appropriate way to handle those types of situations. It just kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I reacted. Obviously, I didn't really realize that it was going to ignite that.
"It just kind of rubs me the wrong way when you have to just turn your back on situations and walk off and mumble your way off into no man's land and not just handle the situation. I think in those situations you at least deserve, even if you are going to get yelled at or whatever the case may be, you at least need to handle it like it needs to be handled."
Harvick compared the situation to his experience with Matt Kenseth the week before at Martinsville Speedway. While racing for position, Kenseth accidentally drove into the side of Harvick, causing him to crash. The accident proved costly as Harvick, who along with Kenseth are among the eight drivers remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, finished 33rd. Kenseth finished sixth.
Immediately after the race, Kenseth was apologetic. The following week at Texas, Kenseth sought Harvick out to apologize face-to-face.
"I think you look at Martinsville and how that situation was handled," Harvick said. "I have a lot of respect for Matt and what he does on the race track. You leave the track and you talk about things and you figure out what went wrong and how to handle things moving forward. There is just never that opportunity really presented with Brad and I think that is what frustrates me."
Harvick's two-handed shove of Keselowski became a popular meme on social media, with many -- including Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- posting photos with the hashtag "Harvicking" to mock Harvick's involvement.
"I'd rather not have a hashtag named after me to be honest with you," Harvick said. "The competitor in me loves the controversy and loves the situations that it puts the competitors in. The Dad in me doesn't really enjoy the hashtag and doesn't really enjoy the circumstances of the situation. But, live and learn, and you move on."