In his last season before he retires, NASCAR's beloved driver is getting blamed for some of the sport's continual problems - and recently it came from a fellow driver in the Cup Series.
Calling out Dale Jr. on SiriuxXM's NASCAR channel, Harvick claimed that Dale was "stunting the growth of NASCAR" because he has consistently been the most popular driver, but rarely takes home any successes on the track.
"The growth in the sport has not reached the levels that it should have because our most popular driver has not been our most successful driver," Harvick continued. "... He hasn't been anywhere close to our most successful driver."
In response to these statements, Dale Jr. called out Harvick, labeling his comments as "hurtful" and explained his outlook on the growth of NASCAR.
"I have an incredible amount of respect for [Harvick]," Dale Jr. told the sports outlet. "I found some of those comments hurtful. I still respect him as a champion and ambassador for the sport."
"That's just the way it is, I guess. I hate that's how he feels."
Beyond that, Dale Jr. says that he looks at his own career fondly, adding "I put a lot into this sport and I know that I might not have met everyone's expectations, but I certainly exceeded my own and I'm super proud of what I've been able to accomplish."
Harvick drove for Dale Jr.'s Xfinity Series team, JR Motorsports, over several years and even was chosen as the replacement for Dale Earnhardt Sr. when he was killed back in 2001.
What do you think of the current state of NASCAR? Do you agree with Harvick's statement about Dale Jr.?
Watch the video below and let us know in the comments.
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