NASCAR penalizes Kevin Harvick’s team for window brace; side skirt
NASCAR fined crew chief Rodney Childers $50,000 and suspended car chief Robert Smith two Cup races for a violation with a brace on Kevin Harvick’s winning car from last weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it was penalizing Harvick 20 driver points and the team 20 owner points for the L1 infraction. Harvick also is docked the seven playoff points he earned at Las Vegas - five for his win and two for each stage he won.
Harvick drops from the points lead with the violation. He now has six playoff points instead of 13.
NASCAR stated in the penalty report that the rear window support braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times. The right side rocker panel extension did not meet NASCAR rule specifications, the extension was not aluminum.
Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement from Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition: “Late today, NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they’re imposing on our No. 4 Cup Series team. We’re going to take the time and evaluate our options, and we plan to continue dialogue with NASCAR to fully understand the rationale behind the penalty.”
The team has three days to decide if to appeal the penalty.
Harvick’s victory at Las Vegas was his second consecutive win this season.
The anomaly with his car was discussed during the race by Chase Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson on the radio. Social media posted pictures and raised questions about the car’s legality after the race.
“We’re going to learn from this,’’ Childers said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s not something that we wanted to happen. You definitely don’t want the back of the roof sharp. You want the back of the roof round and you want that to be a smooth transition. I think that everybody thinks that it helps. I would suggest that it probably didn’t help.’’
NASCAR also announced that crew chief Todd Parrott had been fined $10,000 because the No. 55 Cup team had a lug nut not secured at the end of the Las Vegas race.