NASCAR Might Take Away Wins If Teams Keep Cheating Next Season


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.

NASCAR on Wednesday hit Harvick with an L1-level penalty for use of an illegal spoiler. Harvick gained the maximum 60 points at Texas because he won both stages (10 points each) and the race (worth 40 points).

Harvick enters this week's race at Phoenix, the last before Miami, fourth among the eight playoff racers.

Miller said NASCAR officials at ISM Raceway in Phoenix this weekend will further scrutinize all spoilers before cars go on track as a response to the penalty.

Stewart-Haas Racing announced early Wednesday that the team would not appeal the penalty.

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- Due to the No. 4 team's infraction, Miller said NASCAR will now be unbolting every spoiler and examining them during at-track inspection for the final two races.

"We were right on the verge of thinking that this might fall into the L2 category", Miller said.

NASCAR provided a statement from senior vice president of competition Scott Miller.

Harvick's crew chief, Rodney Childers, and auto chief, Robert Smith, were suspended for the final two races of the season.

"To think that we can scrutinize a auto as good in five minutes than we can in three hours at the R&D Center is a bit unrealistic, but we are looking at different things for next year, getting into stiffer consequences for the team for even unloading cars that we see are not legal in the first round of inspection". NASCAR doesn't penalize teams for a prequalifying or prerace inspection failure and penalizes the team practice time the following week for two inspection failures. All three were expected to race for the championship, and none is qualified for Homestead yet with one race remaining. Driver Ryan Blaney loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins is fined $50,000, and vehicle chief Kirk Almquist is suspended for the next two races. Crew chief Chris Gayle is fined $50,000, and auto chief Jason Overstreet is suspended for the next two races. Miller said the sanctioning body will look during the offseason at tougher penalties if a team that can't even pass the first round of inspection. 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 vehicle chief will practice at Phoenix.