Kevin Harvick had an AMAZING race this past Sunday at Texas. He won the race- his eighth win of the season, won both stages, led the most laps, and secured his spot into the Championship 4 happening a week from Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
And today, that was all taken away.
The race-winning 4 car failed post race inspection due to his spoiler. According to NASCAR rules, the spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturers and they cannot be altered in any way. Upon post-race tear down of that bad-fast car, NASCAR found that the 4 team did, in fact, somehow alter the spoiler. This gets them what NASCAR calls an L-1 penalty.
As a result, Harvick's win at Texas no longer qualifies him for Championship 4 in Miami. He has been docked 40 driver points and the team loses 40 owner points. He enters this weekend's race in Phoenix only three points above the cut line, placing him fourth among the eight drivers vying to get into the Championship 4. His crew chief Rodney Childers and his car chief Robert Smith have been suspended for the next two races (there are only two races left), and Childers has been fined $75,000. The team will not appeal the penalty.
The 12 car and 20 car also had big penalties coming out of Texas, but neither of those cars are in the hunt for a championship. You can read more about that here.
Prior to today's penalties, there would have been six drivers racing for two spots in the Championship 4 this weekend at Phoenix. Now there are seven drivers racing for three spots. Updated playoff standings are:
1-Joey Logano, guaranteed a spot in the Championship 4 due to his win at Martinsville
2-Kyle Busch, +28
3-Martin Truex Jr, +25
4-Kevin Harvick, +3
5-Kurt Busch, -3
6-Chase Elliott, -17
7-Aric Almirola, -35
8-Clint Bowyer, -51
Here's a look back at what was a great weekend for Harvick...