Kevin Harvick stripped of berth in NASCAR championship race – The Denver Post


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Harvick has been stripped of his berth in NASCAR’s championship race because his winning car failed inspection after Texas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR said Wednesday the discovery made after Harvick’s win negates the automatic berth he earned into the finale. The No. 4 had an illegal spoiler.

The rule in question states that spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer and not altered. The infraction was discovered when NASCAR gave the car a further inspection in North Carolina.

Harvick was docked 40 driver points and the team loses 40 owner points as well. Harvick now enters this weekend’s race at Phoenix fourth among the remaining eight playoff drivers, three points above the cutline. Should there be a tie for the final transfer spot, Harvick would not be eligible to use the Texas victory in the tiebreaking procedure.

Crew chief Rodney Childers and car chief Robert Smith were suspended for the final two races of the season. Childers also was fined $75,000.

Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, said the team will not appeal the penalties.

Zipadelli said Tony Gibson will serve as interim crew chief and Nick DeFazio will be interim car chief.

“We work tirelessly across every inch of our race cars to create speed and, unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book,” Zipadelli said. “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 racetrack.”

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