More often than not, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin make the headlines after the Cup series races. They have combined for 11 wins out of 26 in the 2020 Cup Series regular-season.
Harvick has 15 top-five finishes and Hamlin has 13 in the 26 races. So, there will be a lot of questions as to how one team views the other in their bid to win the championship. No. 11 team crew chief Chris Gabehart shed some light on the ongoing field rivalry between the two teams. Speaking to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint’, he said:
“I think that’s the neat part about what we’re fortunate enough to do at two great organizations like Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas (Racing). We’re able to compete at sport’s very top level with the best resources and people are the biggest resource. So the best people at the very pinnacle of stock car racing. So when you’re fortunate enough to make it to that level as crew chiefs, engineers, drivers, you’re very thankful for that, I know I am.
“In doing that, you come to appreciate just how hard it was to get there and then those that you compete against, you admire their same situation and you realize just how hard they worked to get there, too. At that point, you’ve both been so fortunate and accomplished so much that it’s really more about the competition itself and appreciating each team’s ability to push the other one higher.”
While one team might want to get one over the other every time they are on the race track, but their rivalry is born out of respect to each other. And this fierce competition only pushes them to higher limits.
“And I know that’s how (Harvick crew chief) Rodney (Childers) and I look at it. To say that we don’t compete fiercely … is certainly not true in terms of the level of competition. I mean, we’re fierce competitors. But you know, when we shake each other’s hands afterwards, it just comes from a real understanding just how fortunately lucky we are to be doing what we’re doing at this level.”