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.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.