Kevin Harvick did not mince words when describing track conditions during the debut NASCAR Cup Series event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday.
“It’s the most unsafe thing I’ve ever done in a race car by a lot,” Hendrick said. “You can’t see anything down the straightaways. These cars were not built to run in the rain and when you can’t see – my spotter said, ‘Check up, check up,’ because he thought he saw two cars wrecking. I let off, and the guy behind me hit me wide-open because he never saw me.
“It’s unbelievable that we’re out there doing what we’re doing because we’re in race cars that aren’t made to do this, and if you can’t see going down the straightaway, it’s absolutely not safe. Not even close.”
The entire race was contested in wet conditions, and most of it took place during a heavy deluge, with NASCAR ultimately calling the race 14 laps short of its scheduled distance with Chase Elliott declared the winner.
It’s the first Cup race that was entirely contested in rain conditions.
Harvick was eliminated from the race after 19 laps after his involvement in a low visibility collision. Harvick was behind the cars of Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell when he lifted to not run into them but was instead drilled from behind by Bubba Wallace.
Harvick initially drove away but an oil leak sent him behind the wall.
Blaney and Bell collided anyway. Blaney continued on with right rear damage, while Bell, Wallace and Harvick did not finish. Wallace declined to comment on the incident.
Bell says he couldn’t see.
“I don’t exactly know what happened,” Bell said. “I wasn’t sure if they were wrecking up there or what. I drove in blind and ran into the back of somebody. I was really looking forward to running my Craftsman Camry today – had a lot of fun in practice yesterday, but when you get into the pack, you’re just racing blind.”
Harvick cemented his point about racing in the rain.
“We don’t have any business being out in the rain, period,” Harvick said. “All I can say is this is the worst decision that we’ve ever made in our sport that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career, period.”