Harvick stripped of locked-in finale spot over illegal spoiler

Kevin Harvick has lost his locked-in status for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finale in Miami, and will be without his crew chief and car chief for the rest of the season.

Harvick stripped of locked-in finale spot over illegal spoiler
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Beer
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's and Rodney Childers

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 two Cup races (the remainder of the season). Car chief Robert Smith will also miss these events.

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.

From the editor, also read:

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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