Kevin Harvick’s race-winning auto fails inspection; had illegal spoiler during inspection

Annette Crawford
Ноября 8, 2018

But the sanctioning body docked him 40 points after finding illegal alterations to his rear spoiler.

Harvick was docked 40 driver points and the team loses 40 owner points as well.

Harvick will enter Phoenix just three points above the cutline. As part of the penalty, Harvick can not use the win at TMS in a tiebreaker.

Crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert Smith were suspended for the final two races of the season. Childers was also fined $75,000.

"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", SHR vice president Greg Zipadelli said in a statement. "We will not appeal the penalty". Ryan Blaney's No. 12 team and Erik Jones' No. 20 team will each be docked 20 driver and owner points, and both team's auto chief and crew chief will be suspended for the final two races of 2018. "Instead, we will direct our immediate focus to this weekend's event in Phoenix and control our destiny on the race track".

Harvick's win at Texas was his series-leading eighth in 2018. Now, three spots in the finale will be up for grabs Sunday in Phoenix. Harvick has won nine times there in the Cup Series over the course of his career including this season's March race.

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Per the NASCAR penalty report, the team violated section 20.4.12.a&b, which relates to spoilers. The penalty opens a realistic chance for Kurt Busch or Chase Elliott to move into the playoffs on merit if Logano, or a non-playoff driver wins this weekend, while Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer would likely need a checkered flag to advance. Harvick's auto passed the post-race inspection at TMS.

Joey Logano is the only driver locked into the final four while Kyle Busch (28 points ahead of his brother Kurt), and Martin Truex Jr.

Also Wednesday, NASCAR penalized the teams of Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones, who already have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Other penalties announced on Wednesday were also of the L1 variety.

Blaney's crew chief Jeremy Bullins and Jones' crew chief Chris Gayle have also been fined $50,000 each. That leaves Harvick to fight for his playoff life at Phoenix this weekend with backup crew chief Tony Gibson.

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