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Kevin Harvick Loses Championship 4 Lock with Texas Penalty

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Following the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend, NASCAR handed down four separate penalties in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and Camping World Truck Series combined.

The No. 4 Ford of Kevin Harvick was found in violation of Section 20.4.12.a & b of the rule book, which pertains to rear spoiler of the car. The rule states, “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 was fined $75,000, with both Childers and car chief Robert Smith suspended from the next two Cup Series events. Additionally, they lost 40 driver points and owner points, with the victory at Texas Motor Speedway no longer locking him into the Championship 4 or to be used in a tie-breaking scenario.

“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.

Harvick will enter the final race of the Round of 8 ranked eighth on the grid, now three points above the cut-off line. 

Stewart-Haas Racing will not appeal the penalty, but rather focus efforts towards the final two races.

“We work tirelessly across every inch of our racecars to create speed and, unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book,” SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said Wednesday in a statement. “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.”

Additionally, the No. 12 Ford of Ryan Blaney was found in violation of Section 20.4.17.6.b of the rule book, which pertains to the crush panels. The rule states, “all filler panels must remain permanently attached for the entire event.”

As a result, crew chief Jeremy Bullins was fined $50,000, with car chief Kirk Almquist suspended from the next two Cup Series events, and a loss of 20 driver and owner points. 

Additionally, the No. 20 Toyota of Erik Jones was found in violation of Section 20.4.h & 20.4.17.8.b of the rule book, which pertains to the package tray. The rule states, “air cannot pass from one area of the vehicle interior to another. Vehicle package tray must remain flat and straight, front to back, with one break.”

As a result, crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $50,000, with car chief Jason Overstreet suspended from the next two Cup Series events, and a loss of 20 driver and owner points.

Additionally, the No. 35 truck of Brennan Poole was found in violation of Section 20.3.4 of the rule book, which pertains to the Ballast Containers. The rule states, “loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle.”

As a result, crew chief Ryan Bell, truck chief Jerry Kennedy, and mechanic Patrick Magee have been suspended for the next three Truck races, which includes the 2019 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.