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BUSCH-HARVICK STILL BOILING

This Sprint Cup feud heated up last week at Darlington but it didn't end there.

Times wires

DOVER, Del. - Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch might have to play nice on the track now that they're on probation.

Off the track?

Well, boys, have at it.

"It's kind of one lie after the other," Harvick said of Busch.

"He'll talk to you to your face like you're best friends, but then behind closed doors ... he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts," Busch said of Harvick.

The verbal smackdown between the NASCAR stars has not abated since their dustup last week.

Harvick and Busch disagree about the incident and in general on NASCAR's policy of, "Boys, have at it."

They did agree Friday at Dover International Speedway that they don't like each other.

"I've never gotten along with the guy," Busch said.

NASCAR fined Harvick and Busch $25,000 apiece and put them on probation for their actions on pit road at Darlington Raceway. Thursday, the drivers were summoned separately for a meeting with top officials.

The already contentious relationship between two of Sprint Cup's most successful drivers took another blow late in the race at Darlington after Busch made contact with Harvick.

Harvick said officials stressed he was penalized because of the postrace blow-up on pit road. Harvick stopped his car, climbed out of it and threw a punch into Busch's window. Busch pulled away, using his car to bump Harvick's car out of the way.

The empty car turned and hit the inside wall. No one was hurt, but Harvick's crew members were running down pit road when the car hit the wall.

"I think they would back me whether I was right or wrong.... That's the great part about our team," Harvick said.

"The No. 18 team is not backing him up. I mean when you don't have a backbone how do you back someone up?"

One-liners aside, safety issues were at the heart of the penalty. Pit road is no place for payback.

NASCAR adopted a "Boys, have at it" policy at the start of last year that gave the drivers more leniency to police each other on the track.

"I think when you look at the, 'Boys, have at it,' theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process," Harvick said.

Surprise. Busch insisted he knew exactly what those words mean.

"When matters get taken into the drivers' hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something, NASCAR is going to step in and they're going to intervene," he said.

NASCAR tradition is steeped in fights, feuds and rivalries.

They help create excitement for the sport and get fans talking. Maybe this feud could spark flagging ticket sales for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. tries to avoid this sort of fracas but said: "If I ran up front all the time, I'd be in my share of those mix-ups. ... When your car ain't running good enough, you just look like an idiot running over people."

"I want to be a part of it because I want to sell the hats and the T-shirts," driver Greg Biffle said. "I don't want to be a part of it though, because I don't want to ... be backward in the fence or have the radiator busted out of the car and finish 35th.

"It is fun for the sport though."

"It's kind of one lie after the other."

Kevin Harvick on Kyle Busch

"He'll talk to you to your face like you're best friends, but then behind closed doors ... he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts."

Kyle Busch on Kevin Harvick

"It's kind of one lie after the other."

Kevin Harvick on Kyle Busch

"He'll talk to you to your face like you're best friends, but then behind closed doors ... he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts."

Kyle Busch on Kevin Harvick

Sprint Cup points

Through 10 of 36 races. The top 10 drivers plus two wild cards (based on wins) through 26 races make the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Carl Edwards 378 -

Jimmie Johnson 355 23

Kyle Busch 339 39

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 331 47

Kevin Harvick 328 50

Ryan Newman 317 61

Tony Stewart 313 65

Kurt Busch 306 72

Clint Bowyer 297 81

Matt Kenseth 295 83

Up next

FedEx 400, 1 p.m. Sunday, Dover (Del.) International Speedway

TV:Ch. 13

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