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NASCAR America: With penalty, Rodney Childers gets head start on Miami car

Rodney Childers describes what it was like to not be at the track when Kevin Harvick clinched a spot in the Championship 4 and what preparations are like before Homestead-Miami.

Last week, Rodney Childers sat out the first race of a two-race suspension for an infraction at Texas. Instead of going to Phoenix and sitting in a suite to monitor the situation close by, he set up shop at the team’s shop in North Carolina.

Childers monitored the race from there and as it turned out, that might have been a blessing in disguise.

“It did work out good. We were able to get some updates done on Friday that we would normally not be able to do till Monday,” Childers told Marty Snider on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “I had the whole shop kind of turned upside down at one point, but overall everybody was working hard on (the Miami car) and trying to get it prepared the best we could.

“It wasn’t terrible, but I definitely missed being at the racetrack.”

Perhaps the only time during the race when Childers felt a moment of panic came at the end of Stage 1 when Harvick lost a tire on his way to a certain stage win.

After two late nights on Monday and Tuesday, the No. 4 team will load up the car Wednesday and head for the track with some extra attention having already been given by Childers. That could make the difference in how fast the car rolls off the hauler.

“Overall we’ve been very good every time we’ve been down there (in Miami). I think we finish in the top three or four every race - all four that we’ve been down there. We feel we’ve got strong cars this year. Probably better than what we’ve been.”

In his last four starts at Miami, Harvick finished fourth last year, was third in 2016, second in 2015 and won both the race and the championship in 2014.