Kevin Harvick hit with severe penalty from NASCAR for rear-window malfunction
Kevin Harvick was docked seven playoff points while his team and owner were docked 20 additional points for two violations in Las Vegas.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 team of Kevin Harvick was handed an L1 penalty for two violations stemming from a rear-window malfunction on Harvick's Las Vegas race-winning car on Sunday.
Harvick lost seven playoff points, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, and Car Chief Robert "Cheddar" Smith was suspended for two races for the violation. The team was also docked 20 points and 20 owner points.
Childers told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that his Ford had a rear window brace fail, 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.
NASCAR found in the teardown of the No. 4 car that the brace that supports the rear window failed and did not meet specifications for keeping the rear window glass rigid in all directions, at all times. Additionally, the rocker panel extension was not aluminum.
Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, said the team will mull their options before submitting a formal appeal.
“Late today, NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they’re imposing on our No. 4 Cup Series team," he said in a statement. "We’re going to take the time and evaluate our options, and we plan to continue dialogue with NASCAR to fully understand the rationale behind the penalty.”
SHR’s Zipadelli on poss appeal: “Late today, NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they’re imposing on our No. 4 Cup Series team. We’re going to take the time and evaluate our options, and we plan to continue dialogue with NASCAR to fully understand the rationale behind the penalty.”— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) March 7, 2018
Harvick remains the official winner of Sunday's race and remains a lock for the playoffs thanks to his Atlanta win.