Is there a feud brewing between Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Harvick made headlines Wednesday when he said that Earnhardt Jr. is “stunting the growth of NASCAR.” Essentially, Harvick was suggesting that that Earnhardt’s immense popularity, in spite of on-track success, is preventing him — and the sport at large — from attracting new fans.

While at Michigan International Speedway on Thursday, Earnhardt offered a response.

“I have an incredible amount of respect for him,” Earnhardt said, via ESPN. “I found some of those comments hurtful. I still respect him as a champion and ambassador for the sport.”

Watch Earnhardt’s full comments in the video below:

Regardless of which side you’re on, it’s tough to argue the fact that Earnhardt’s retirement campaign has been a major disappointment for everyone involved.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver hasn’t won a race this season, which is something he must do if he wants to make the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Furthermore, his much-hyped JR Nation Apreci88ion Tour seemingly hasn’t generated the spike in attendance that many hoped it would.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images