Thereâs still bad blood between Alex Bowman and Austin Dillon.
During last weekâs NASCAR Playoffs race at Richmond Raceway, Dillon bumped the left rear of Bowmanâs No. 88, sending it spinning up the track. The move was intentional. No. 3 crew chief Danny Stockman specifically told Dillon to âget him back nowâ after Bowman previously ran into Dillonâs side and shoved him up into William Byronâs car.
âI want to shove that silver spoon heâs been fed on his whole life up his (expletive),â Bowman said over his radio after the run-in.
RELATED: Scanner Sounds from Richmond
Bowman ended up finishing 23rd, right behind Dillon in 22nd.
Only adding fuel to the fire: Bowman is still fighting for a spot in the Round of 12, while Dillon didnât make the 16-driver postseason field. Bowman fell below the cutline after Richmond and enters Sundayâs Round of 16 elimination race, the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), in 13th â two points fewer than Byron in the 12th and final spot.
âI donât think there is a relationship there,â Bowman said Friday. âAnd what the comment was, you heard it. I said what I said. Obviously frustrated with that situation, but I donât know. I think it hurt his day more than it did mine. We kind of ran where we were going to run anyway, so itâs just frustrating. Got ran all the way to the inside wall down the front straightaway and then just turned. It is what it is. Not immediately worried about it. Typically donât see him at these places anyway.â
Dillon has never scored a road-course top 10, and he also ended last seasonâs Roval race in 39th place. Bowman, with two top 10s overall, was fourth.
The Richmond drama went beyond Dillonâs immediate team. It was Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress who first told Dillon to âmove his (expletive) back if you get to it.â
âI donât know,â said Bowman, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports. âThatâs just part of it. Thatâs just part of how they operate. RCâs obviously a very involved team owner and is on the radio a lot more than our owner and thatâs just part of it. It doesnât matter. Heâs not holding the steering wheel, so Iâm not worried about who gave directions to anybody or anything like that. Iâm here to advance to the next round this week and handle it in the future.â
For his part, Dillon said, âas far as radio communication, they have every right to be on the radio as much as anybody else on that team.â
The RCR driver thought the incident was over and done with since Bowman had ample opportunity to do something at Richmond and didnât.
âWe raced the rest of the race, and he could have done whatever he wanted to do,â Dillon said prior to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying. âIâm fine with whatever he says. He had an opportunity the rest of the race to do something back and he didnât, and that to me means weâre square.â
Dillon had made the postseason the previous seasons before the 2019 campaign. He knows playoff drivers will be taking all that they can, but that doesnât mean he will be a pushover as a driver outside of the field.
âI got to battle it out and be respectful throughout but I canât be taken advantage of either,â Dillon said. âThereâs a line between taking that as a guy thatâs not in the playoffs and thereâs a line you can cross it. My button had been pushed in that situation. Iâve been on both sides of it. Been in the playoffs the last three years and, yes, Iâve taken advantage of guys because I was in the playoffs. I know that feeling, but at some point, if you take too much, it will come back on you.â
Contributing: RJ Kraft at Charlotte Motor Speedway