NASCAR Might Take Away Wins If Teams Keep Cheating Next Season

10 November, 2018, 09:30 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Kevin Harvick’s win Sunday at Texas no longer counts for automatic qualification into the championship raceMore

NASCAR on Wednesday hit Harvick with an L1-level penalty for use of an illegal spoiler.

After Harvick made the trip to Victory Lane, his vehicle was sent to the research and development center where illegal modifications to the rear spoiler were found. This rule states that spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer and not altered.

An NASCAR inspector noticed something looked amiss on the No. 4 during the post-race inspection at the track, a finding that led to officials breaking down the spoiler completely once back at the R&D Center, where the infraction was then discovered.

There is one race to go to set the championship field, Sunday in Phoenix, and star driver Kevin Harvick has been snared in the latest scandal. He sits three points ahead of Kurt Busch and 17 points ahead of Chase Elliott heading into the elimination race Sunday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. This prompted NASCAR to levy penalties which include a 40-point deduction and suspension for crew chief Rodney Childers for the remainder of the season, in addition to the aforementioned loss of guaranteed spot in the Championship 4.

The stiff penalty on Harvick and SHR is for an issue related to the rear spoiler according to Section 20.4.12 of the NASCAR Rule Book.


Childers posted a series of tweets early Friday morning in which he said SHR made the decision to move the spoiler after other teams shifted their decklids and spoilers to the right in the previous 1.5-mile race at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR provided a statement from senior vice president of competition Scott Miller.

The vehicle was found to have issues with the rear spoiler. NASCAR doesn't penalize teams for a prequalifying or prerace inspection failure and penalizes the team practice time the following week for two inspection failures.

"To think that we can scrutinize a vehicle as good in five minutes than we can in three hours at the R&D Center is a bit unrealistic, but we are looking at different things for next year, getting into stiffer consequences for the team for even unloading cars that we see are not legal in the first round of inspection". Harvick, along with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., is part of NASCAR's so-called Big Three that dominated the season through a stretch of summer racing.

As a result, Harvick's victory does not count toward automatic advancement into the Championship Race at Homestead. Driver Ryan Blaney loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points. Nick DeFazio will serve as interim vehicle chief. Crew chief Chris Gayle is fined $50,000, and vehicle chief Jason Overstreet is suspended for the next two races.

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