Witnesses said Edwards approached Harvick in the garage stall housing Harvick's No. 33 Chevrolet and engaged in conversation. Following what a witness called a heated discussion, Harvick turned to walk away and Edwards grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around.
According to reports Harvick then shoved Edwards in retaliation, forcing Edwards onto the hood of the No. 33 Chevy. No. 33 crew chief Rick Ren pointed to a dent in the hood where he said Edwards landed. Others on site then proceeded to separate the drivers, and witnesses said Edwards was grabbed around the neck in a headlock by Harvick's motor-home driver, Jeff Smith.
No punches were thrown, witnesses said.
Edwards didn't deny the two argued, but wouldn't discuss the incident.
"The deal with me and Harvick is between me and him and there's nothing else to talk about," he said. "I'm not talking about that. That's just what it is. We know where each other stand and that's it."
Although photographers from CIA Stock Photography and Lowe's
Motor Speedway caught the moment, both refused to show the photos
to The Associated Press and said they had no plans to publish the
Witnesses claim the verbal exchange Thursday was in reference to a handwritten note Edwards left on a seat in Harvick's airplane following the AMP Energy 500 last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The note facetiously thanked Harvick for disparaging comments he made toward Edwards on ABC following a multicar wreck on Lap 174 of 188, which was triggered when Edwards tapped teammate Greg Biffle.
In it, The Charlotte Observer, which obtained a photo of the note, reported Edwards sarcastically wrote, "I was really trying to screw up everyone's day. Love, Carl."
Several championship contenders were caught in the melee, including Harvick, who had harsh words for Edwards and his strategy after the accident.
"I know that his fans won't be very proud of him sitting back there riding around like a pansy," Harvick said. "If he had been racing all day, maybe he would have known how long the front of his car was."
NASCAR did not immediately comment on the issue.
Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. The Associated Press contributed to this report.