Story By: NASCAR – CONCORD, NC – The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team has been issued an L1-level penalty following driver Kevin Harvick’s win Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, an infraction that carries major championship implications in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The team violated Section 20.4.12 of the NASCAR Rule Book that is specific to spoilers. Spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer and not altered. The infraction was discovered in post-race tear down at the NASCAR Research & Development Center.
As a result, Harvick has been docked 40 driver points and the team loses 40 owner points as well. Harvick’s win at Texas no longer automatically qualifies the team for the Championship 4 in Miami. He will enter this weekend’s Round of 8 finale fourth among eight playoff drivers in the standings, three points above the cutline – should there be a tie for the final transfer spot, Harvick cannot use the Texas win in the tie-breaking procedure.
Additionally, both crew chief Rodney Childers and car chief Robert Smith have been suspended for the next two races – ISM Raceway at Phoenix and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Childers also has been fined $75,000.
The team has the right to appeal the penalty to the NASCAR Motorsports Appeals Panel. There was no immediate word from SHR officials if they planned to do so.
Other Monster Energy Series penalties announced in the Wednesday penalty report were:
• An L1-level infraction to the No. 12 Team Penske camp. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins is fined $50,000, and car chief Kirk Almquist is suspended for the next two races. Driver Ryan Blaney loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points.
• An L1-level infraction to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team. Crew chief Chris Gayle is fined $50,000, and car chief Jason Overstreet is suspended for the next two races. Driver Erik Jones loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points.