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VIDEO: Kevin Harvick playfully challenges Kyle Busch to Modified Match Race

Getty Images via NASCAR

Not only are former NASCAR rivals Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick seeing eye-to-eye these days, they’ve also become unlikely allies in the recent movement to increase awareness and support for grassroots motorsports within their profession.

The two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champions were spotted having a laugh together on pit road by the FOX Sports television broadcast prior to the race at Michigan International Speedway and naturally, the conversation took a turn to short track racing.

Pit reporter Matt Yocum jokingly suggested that Harvick could join Busch in the back of the field to put on a show — a reference to the long-time short track promoter’s tactic to create passing and spice up a race.

“The old $10,000 to start at the back deal,” Busch said.

Busch will take part in the Money in the Bank 150 on Monday night at Berlin Raceway in Michigan, his second start in a Super Late Model this season. Meanwhile, Harvick has already made headlines in support of short track racing after winning the Cup race at Phoenix, sponsored the SK Modified division at Stafford and has teased making a start in a ‘ground pounder later this season.’

Stafford did its part, sending Delana Harvick flowers in asking permission to allow her husband to compete at the famous Connecticut short track when his schedule permits.

“As a sport, we’ve really seen people rally around Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown,” Harvick said. “And all of us love short track racing and grew up on it in dirt or asphalt.

“It’s important to be able to do the things Kyle does, and for us to support it and make sure tracks get out of it what they need to, because at the end of the day, those are the diehard fans. When our races are in their markets, we want to see those fans at the track.”

Busch just wanted to know if Harvick gave Stafford an answer yet.

“We’re working on it,” Harvick said with a laugh. “Stafford did well. They send Delana flowers and chocolate – that we never saw any of. I think Yocum might have ate them.”

Then Harvick suggested that he and Busch could go to Stafford and have a ‘Match Race.’ For the uninitiated, match races are a Midwestern Late Model staple where drivers race head-to-head in a one-lap side-by-side shootout.

“In a Modified,” Harvick added.

“Oooooh,” a skeptical Busch said back. “JD (Gibbs) always told me to stay out of the Modifieds. I don’t know about that.”

Harvick said he has gotten the same kind of feedback but cited NASCAR team co-owner Tony Stewart in why he was likely to eventually try an open-wheeled stock car.

“I’m going to pull a Stewart and just not ask,” Harvick said.

Busch has some Modified experience and called them ‘fun.’

“Maybe, I don’t know if we can do a match race with them,” Busch said. “They’re open wheel. We would end up upside down and on fire.”

The complete video can be viewed below.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Roger Rozema

    June 10, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Would like to see Havick, or any other “big time” driver come to Berlin Raceway, or Kalamazoo Speedway and run with some of the nations best, like Kyle. Love him or hate him, he is a racer in every sense. He’s doing it, not sitting back talking about it. The big boys better wake up and get out to the local tracks to save their sport and livelihood.

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