NASCAR understandably made a big deal out of the Cup Series’ debut at Circuit of the Americas but, for some, the final product left much to be desired.
In fact, Kevin Harvick absolutely hated it.
Rainy conditions at the 3.41-mile course produced a sloppy, borderline unwatchable and rain-shortened EchoPark Texas Grand Prix that Chase Elliott ultimately won. Harvick was one of multiple drivers who saw their afternoons ended by wrecks caused by visibility issues. On Lap 19, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver was hit by Darrell Wallace Jr., who couldn’t see because of water spraying from the cars ahead.
Harvick tore into NASCAR after wrecking out at COTA.
“It’s the most unsafe thing I’ve ever done in a race car by a lot,” he told NBC Sports’ Dustin Long. “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.”
Harvick added: “We don’t have any business being out in the rain, period. 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.”
It’s hard to blame Harvick for being upset. It’s one thing (but still a bad thing) if a race isn’t fun to watch or be a part of. It’s another thing entirely if an event is unsafe.
Let’s hope NASCAR’s next trip to COTA isn’t such a bummer.