Har­vick is pe­nal­ized

The Progress-Index - - SPORTS - By Jenna Fryer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Har­vick's bid for a sec­ond NASCAR ti­tle suf­fered a mas­sive set­back Wed­nes­day when he was stripped of his berth in the cham­pi­onship race be­cause his win­ning car failed in­spec­tion af­ter Texas Mo­tor Speed­way.

The dis­cov­ery of an il­le­gally mod­i­fied spoiler, made dur­ing a de­tailed post-race in­spec­tion af­ter the No. 4 Ford re­turned to NASCAR's Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter fol­low­ing Sun­day's race, negates the au­to­matic berth Har­vick earned into the fi­nal four. The rule vi­o­lated states that spoil­ers must be used ex­actly as sup­plied from the man­u­fac­turer and not al­tered.

On top of los­ing his spot in next week­end's fi­nale

Home­stead-Mi­ami Speed­way, Har­vick must also close out the fi­nal two races of the sea­son with­out crew chief Rod­ney Childers and car chief Robert Smith. Both were sus­pended for two races, and Childers also was fined $75,000.

Har­vick was docked 40 driver points, and Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing was docked 40 owner

Har­vick was docked 40 driver points, and Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing was docked 40 owner points as well.

points as well.

Har­vick en­ters this week­end's race at Phoenix fourth among the re­main­ing eight play­off driv­ers, three

points above the cut­line. Should there be a tie for the fi­nal trans­fer spot, Har­vick would not be el­i­gi­ble to use the Texas vic­tory in the tiebreak­ing pro­ce­dure.

Greg Zi­padelli, vice pres­i­dent of com­pe­ti­tion at SHR, said the team will not ap­peal the penal­ties.

Tony Gib­son will be Har­vick's in­terim crew chief and Nick DeFazio will be in­terim car chief.

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