Kevin Harvick’s race-winning vehicle fails inspection; had illegal spoiler during inspection

Harvick loses Championship 4 spot after penalty			Image by Kinrade  LAT

Now that culture has resurfaced again and at a most inopportune time for the beleaguered series.

Additionally, Harvick was docked 40 points, crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert Smith were suspended for the last two races of the season, and Childers was fined $75,000. Harvick's win at Texas no longer automatically qualifies the team for the Championship 4 in Miami.

Despite the hit, Stewart-Haas Racing does not intend to appeal.

Kevin Harvick's celebration in Texas has been spoiled. In addition to losing his spot in next weekend's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Harvick must also close out the final two races of the season without crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert Smith.

"We've heard the fans kind of call out for, 'Why don't you disqualify the offending car?' and that's actually a topic of discussion along with many other things related to the deterrence model", NASCAR Senior Vice President Scott Miller said Wednesday. He will enter this weekend's Round of 8 finale fourth among eight playoff drivers in the standings, three points above the cutline - should there be a tie for the final transfer spot, Harvick can not use the Texas win in the tiebreaking procedure.

As the victor Sunday, Harvick's auto was one of the vehicles taken back to NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.

Few sports have as complicated a relationship with cheating as NASCAR does.

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

Harvick won the 2014 Cup Series championship and went to Phoenix that season in a must-win situation to race for the title. One of his victories came in the spring, part of a three-race winning streak marred by an illegal auto at Las Vegas one week earlier. "Unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book, ".

"We will try to do that in pre-inspection, and then I think that we have enough eyes to know if a spoiler comes off a vehicle, then we go on high alert on that one", Miller said.

It wasn't just SHR last weekend, either.

An NASCAR inspector noticed something looked amiss on the No. 4 during the post-race inspection at the track, a finding that led to officials breaking down the spoiler completely once back at the R&D Center, where the infraction was then discovered.

Also Wednesday, NASCAR penalized the teams of Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones, who already have been eliminated from the playoffs.

If the only three cars inspected failed, what about the other 37 cars in Sunday's field? Miller said "there was something that one of the inspectors saw that kind of made them a little bit suspicious, and that's why we took it off when the vehicle got back to the R&D Center".

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