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Denny Hamlin Reveals Why You Should Never Get into a Pie-Throwing Contest with Kevin Harvick

The co-owner of Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing reminisced about the incident in a farewell video to his pal, Kevin Harvick.  

By Andrew Woodin
Split image of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin

The NASCAR Cup Series and fans of the most elite tier in stock car racing are going to miss the hell out of Kevin Harvick. Aren’t we all? He’s a fearless, tough-as-nails competitor whose vast career experience – starting right out of the gate as Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s replacement – and unparalleled racing knowledge have garnered him the respect of every wheelman he competes against. His passion for the sport and unrelenting quest to continually improve it has, at times, made him the voice of the league’s drivers. Amid mounting safety issues regarding the league’s Next Gen car, it was Harvick who walked into the spotlight and expressed the drivers’ concerns. He took initiative because that’s what leaders do.

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While those intangibles will be sorely missed, potentially more upsetting about Harvick’s departure from the Cup Series is that he won’t be around to flawlessly execute the epic pranks he’s known for. If there was ever a question over who the league’s true master of mischief is – and the track has given rise to some legendary jokesters over the course of NASCAR’s 75-year historyDenny Hamlin’s recent revelation in a nostalgic farewell video to Harvick, highlighting some of the 47-year-old’s best shenanigans, puts that question to bed definitively. 

In the video, Hamlin describes how, during a television appearance involving a pie-throwing contest, he nailed Harvick, who immediately began plotting his revenge.

“We were doing a pie contest like a throwing contest, and I think he took offense to one of the pies that I got him pretty good on," Hamlin recounted. "It was after the horn had sounded to stop. So, the way he saw it, that this was, you know, kind of off-limits times, and I kind of broke protocol there.”

Kevin Harvick speaking into a mic

Determined to get a little off-track payback while also seeing a prime opportunity to unleash some of  his signature hijinks, Harvick developed a plan with Josh Jones, his team KHI’s vice president, while he was en route to New Hampshire on a plane. Harvick employed Jones to get a pie and fill it with lots of cream but, because there was not enough room in the refrigerator, as Jones explains in the video, he had to put it in the freezer. Needless to say, the creamy deliciousness hardened in no time. While Hamlin was meeting with reporters, Harvick pounced.

“Kevin comes in blindsides me and essentially punches me in the face with a pie,” declared Hamlin. “He got me good with that pie certainly, it was a situation where he cranked the intensity level up quite a bit more, he’s going to make sure he got the good end of that exchange.”

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“That was assault, by the way,” Hamlin joked.

If the pie punch wasn’t defeating enough, to add further insult to injury, Hamlin was atop the pole at Loudon, New Hampshire just before Harvick smashed him in the face with the frozen treat. Pouring salt in Hamlin’s wounds, Harvick then went out and bested his buddy’s time to knock Hamlin off the pole before going on to win the race.   

The perpetual prankster Harvick proved that he who laughs last, truly laughs best.