By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
RICHMOND, Va. - Trevor Bayne was stunned.
After Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway, Bayne wondered aloud why Kevin Harvick had raced him so aggressively, to the point of turning Bayne's No. 16 Ford into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 210 of the Nationwide Series race.
Bayne had been trying to pass Harvick for several laps before the incident, but Harvick was blocking Bayne, protecting the position of Elliott Sadler who was running ahead of Harvick and Bayne.
The reason was no mystery - Harvick owns the Chevrolets Sadler drives, and Sadler is battling Bayne's Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the series championship.
Harvick already had angered Jason Leffler during an earlier incident. Leffler wrecked after contact from Harvick on Lap 79, but after returning to the track on Lap 162, Leffler brake-checked Harvick in Turn 2. Harvick hit the brakes to avoid contact, and Bayne ran into the back of Harvick's car, wrinkling the hood of Bayne's Ford.
A couple of laps later, Harvick turned across the nose of Bayne's car and hit the wall, bounced off and turned Bayne hard into the fence, ending the race for the Daytona 500 winner.
"The 33 (of Harvick) let the 2 (of Sadler) go and then pulled down and started blocking me - I guess because the 2 is running for a championship or whatever - but the 33 was blocking me, and I was way faster and trying to race him clean," Bayne said after the wreck. "He catches the 38 (of Leffler), who must have been mad at him; I don't know what was going on.
"The 38 tried to wreck him, and he stopped in front of me and crushed our hood. Then he chopped me again off the corner and checked up and it got him sideways and he just wrecked us. I don't understand what the deal is or why he would race like that. Harvick is normally a way better racer than that. It's just frustrating when people do stuff like that and it's intentional."
Bayne may have the last laugh, though. Harvick has qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and will run for the series title. Bayne is running a partial Cup schedule, but he'll appear in five of the 10 Chase races - with nothing to lose if he happens to settle a score.