After recent race victor Kevin Harvick was docked 40 points and had his automatic berth into the next round of the playoffs taken away as the result of a non-compliant spoiler, NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller essentially told teams to knock off the amusing stuff.
However, NASCAR announced on Wednesday that the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion was not quite up to spec, and was popped with an L1 penalty when the vehicle was inspected at NASCAR's Research and Development Center.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller revealed additional details on the L1-level penalty issued Wednesday to the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team, saying the spoiler on Kevin Harvick's auto was "absolutely, 100 percent, no question" not in compliance with the NASCAR Rule Book. Not only did Harvick lose his spot in the final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but he must race the final two weeks of the season without his crew chief and auto chief. Harvick and his SHR No. 4 team were also docked 40 championship driver and owner points, which drops Harvick to the fourth position in the current championship standings. That leaves Harvick to fight for his playoff life at Phoenix this weekend with backup crew chief Tony Gibson.More news: Fortnite hits concurrent player count of 8.3 million
The two drivers who are now ahead of Harvick but have not yet clinched berths in the Championship 4 are Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch and Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr. Harvick has won nine times there in the Cup Series over the course of his career including this season's March race.
"It is not our desire to issue any penalties but will do so when necessary to ensure each race and championship is contested on a level playing field", NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said. One of his victories came in the spring, part of a three-race winning streak marred by an illegal auto at Las Vegas one week earlier. It wasn't until Wednesday morning, long after Sunday's race, that NASCAR revealed Harvick's auto had failed inspection.
"We believe this to be a separate manufactured part by the team", Miller said. Both were suspended for two races.More news: Saints fear Achilles tear for Bryant
NASCAR announced the mistake during the race and said Monday it has updated its procedures to prevent a similar mistake moving forward.
Kevin Harvick stands in his garage during practice for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Saturday, . "We will now return our focus to Phoenix, and the battle for a championship". NASCAR had moved away in recent years from detailing infractions publicly. Driver Ryan Blaney loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points. Crew chief Chris Gayle has been fined $50,000.
NASCAR announced penalties that carried heavy fines on Wednesday following Texas Motor Speedway. "The teams should really be bringing legal cars to the racetrack and we shouldn't have to do that inspection all the time". Once the Harvick violation was discovered late Tuesday, NASCAR had to examine whether the violation was correct and didn't release its findings until the next day - two days before Harvick and his interim crew chief and auto chief will practice at Phoenix.More news: Tedesco snubbed, Makinson wins Golden Boot