Kevin Harvick shakes off NASCAR penalty: ‘It just motivates us’
Kevin Harvick lost seven playoff points, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, and car chief Robert "Cheddar" Smith was suspended for two races as Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 team was handed an L1 penalty for two violations stemming from a rear-window malfunction on Harvick's Las Vegas race-winning car last Sunday.
Friday ahead of this weekend's TicketGuardian 500 at Phoenix, Harvick addressed the penalty.
“It just motivates us. I can’t wait to win another race and jump up and down in victory lane on the back of my car," Harvick said (via jeffgluck.com).
The penalty put a damper on a the second of back-to-back wins for Harvick as the point penalty dropped him from first to third in the standings, while his team and owner were docked 20 additional points. Harvick remains the official winner of the Pennzoil 400 and is a lock for the playoffs thanks to his Atlanta win.
The team has yet to decide if it will appeal the penalty.
“That’s just way above my pay grade within the team,” Harvick said (via NASCAR.com). “I try to take in what I can get from the team with where we stand on how we feel about the penalty and then we move on. That’s really the reason I’m here today is to address it all, move forward and from here on out, the team and NASCAR can handle all that.”
According to Childers, a rear window brace failed, leading to a malfunctioning roof with an ominous shape some thought could have created an aerodynamically competitive advantage. He said the problem wouldn't aid the team at all.
"You don't want the back of the rear roof sharp and pointed," Childers told ESPN.com. "It needs to be round and smooth."