Stewart-Haas Racing still evaluating options on penalties to Kevin Harvick team

A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team had no news or announcements planned Thursday about the penalties to Kevin Harvick’s team after its victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said in a statement Wednesday night that the team would be evaluating its options while continuing to talk NASCAR officials so as to “fully understand the rationale behind the penalty” that stripped Harvick of the playoff points for his second win of the season.

The driver and team also lost 20 points apiece, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000 and car chief Robert Smith was suspended for two races.

NASCAR allows teams three days to decide whether to appeal to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.

On Thursday’s NASCAR America (video above), analyst Jeff Burton said the penalty was “really interesting because the rear window penalty is really from pictures and things seen on the racetrack. Now NASCAR said the brace failed and did not hold the window in a rigid fashion.

“The question I’ve got moving forward is does this mean that we’re going to use photographs during the races to determine if someone is going to be penalized or not. Because if pictures are going to be taken to determine if a body was held rigid, there’s going to be a lot of penalties because there are a lot of moving parts on these race cars today.

“You can see rear windows moving. You can see sides of cars moving. I think this is going to cause something the public may never see, but all of a sudden cars getting much more rigid in regards to rear windows, sides, quarter panels moving. These teams are very, very smart and are very creative, and I think this is going to cause a ripple effect. There’s going to be a lot of crew chiefs walking into the NASCAR hauler wanting to understand exactly what this means going forward because, again, if NASCAR’s going to use pictures to help determine if penalties need to happen or not, it’s going to be a game-changer.”