Harvick apologizes for comments after Truck race

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Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kevin Harvick has apologized this morning for his comments following yesterday’s Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway, in which he criticized the grandsons of his team owner, Richard Childress.

“You go back and look at the things that happened, and sometimes you regret the things that you say for sure,” Harvick said to Fox Sports according to USA Today’s Jeff Gluck. “(Saturday) was definitely one of them. I hate it for my guys, and everybody working on the cars.

“Obviously, when those emotional situations come about; you say things that you really don’t want to say. I just want to apologize to all of those guys, work hard today and try and do everything we can to win the race.”

Harvick and Ty Dillon made contact while fighting for second place late in yesterday’s Truck race, and the incident triggered a series of events that included Harvick stopping in Dillon’s pit stall for a brief confrontation with the latter’s crew.

After the race, Harvick was furious.

“The 3 [Dillon] just dumped me, and that’s exactly the reason I’m leaving RCR because you have these kids coming up that have no respect for what they do in this sport,” he said at the time. “Everything’s fed to them with a spoon. I cut him slack all day and he just dive-bombs me in there and dumps me…It’s a shame you’ve got to get taken out by some rich kid like that.”

Harvick will be leaving Richard Childress Racing’s Sprint Cup program at season’s end to go to Stewart-Haas Racing. Ty Dillon will move up to RCR’s Nationwide squad next year, while his older brother, Nationwide series driver Austin Dillon, is expected to jump to Sprint Cup.

Gluck reports that Harvick said he hasn’t had a conversation with Ty Dillon, noting that he wanted cooler heads to prevail first before he went about initiating that talk.

Currently fourth in the Chase, Harvick will start today’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 powered by Kroger at Martinsville from 10th starting position.

McLaren unveils 2018 F1 car, the MCL33

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McLaren F1 Team became the latest to launch their 2018 challenger on Friday, taking the covers off their new MCL33 chassis early on Friday morning.

McLaren endured a difficult 2017 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with their partnership with Honda eventually dissolving after a troublesome power unit saw them plagued by unreliability and low power.

A switch to Renault power units is expected to see them get an uptick in form, and the MCL33 chassis itself is actually an evolution on last year’s MCL32. Still, the team highlighted areas to improve upon, and aims for a return to prominence in 2018.

“The McLaren team was created by a brave pioneer, and has had bravery at its core ever since. Whether it’s been with brave drivers, brave leaders or brave fortune, this team has always fought back. And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes,” said Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group.

Brown also highlighted the car’s new papaya orange livery, a throwback to some of the most popular color schemes that have adorned McLaren entrants in a variety of disciplines. Brown indicated that this came about from requests of fans who wanted to see such a livery return to the McLaren marque.

“Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole. We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey.”

The team’s racing director Eric Boullier expressed optimism about the team’s potential for 2018, but also acknowledged the season will be sure to see its fair share of challenges.

“I think the whole team feels proud of this car,” he asserted. “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.”

The MCL33 took to the track on Friday for filming at a test track in Spain, and will be run in anger for the first time when testing begins next week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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