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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kevin Harvick's public criticism of his crew was over the line

I understand that Kevin Harvick wants to win every race he runs, and I recognize that his pit crew performed badly and screwed up his chances of winning Saturday at California in the Nationwide race.

I also recognize that he is the owner of Kevin Harvick Inc. and has the right to hire and fire anyone that he wants, and has the right to be supremely ticked off when his employees don't do their jobs to the standards he has set.

Despite all that, I still think that Harvick's public insulting of his crew -- both during the race on his radio, and after the race on television -- was a step over the line and should have been done behind closed doors. Anyone who watched the race knows they performed badly, there's no need to insult them further in a public manner.

Harvick's not the first person to be this openly critical of his crew -- Kyle Busch did it in the recent past -- but I do not see the benefit of humiliating your own team in front of a national audience.

I'm sure they already knew, as soon as the pit stops ended, that they were in big trouble and might get a few not-so-kind words from the sarcastically nicknamed "Happy" Harvick. And based on their performance, which ruined the day for Harvick, they deserved criticism.

But there is a time and place for everything, and Harvick's actions were over the top and not the best strategy for motivating the team. Imagine if your boss at the office or construction site walked over and started screaming at you in the middle of the workday -- not exactly the best work environment, right?

Instead of yelling at his crew members, he would have been smarter to call an intense, behind doors meeting where the issues were discussed and plans were made to make sure the kind of mistakes that happened Saturday do not happen again.

By doing what he did and insulting them publicly, he just made himself look like a jerk and a bad boss.

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