Harvick stripped of locked-in finale spot over illegal spoiler

Jim Utter
Motorsport

NASCAR on Wednesday assessed Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team an L1 penalty after finding an unapproved spoiler on the car following its inspection this week at NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, N.C.

According to the penalty notice, “the vehicle spoiler must conform to the CAD file and drawing. Spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer.”

As a result, crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $75,000 and suspended from the next to Cup races (in essence the remainder of the season). Car chief Robert Smith has also been suspended from the next two Cup series races.

In addition, the team has been docked 40 driver points and 40 owner points and Harvick’s win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway can no longer be used to lock him in the Championship 4 series title race at Homestead, Fla.

In a statement, SHR said it would not appeal the penalty.

“We work tirelessly across every inch of our race cars to create speed and, unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s vice president of competition.

“We will not appeal the penalty. Instead, we will direct our immediate focus to this weekend’s event in Phoenix and control our destiny on the race track.”

Tony Gibson will serve as Harvick’s interim crew chief the next two weeks and Nick DeFazio will serve as interim car chief.

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Revised play-off standings

Pos.

Driver

Team

Car

Pts.

 

1

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

4128

+28

2

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row Racing

Toyota

4125

+25

3

Joey Logano*

Team Penske

Ford

4119

+19

4

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

4103

+3

Homestead cut-off

5

Kurt Busch

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

4100

-3

6

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

4086

-17

7

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

4068

-35

8

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

4052

-51

* Logano locked into Homestead finale

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