Kevin Harvick is no longer qualified for the championship race in Miami after NASCAR penalized his team after his Texas win.
The result is that Harvick holds the final transfer spot to Miami but is three points ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch.
Harvick’s penalty means that there are three spots to be filled for the championship race Sunday in Phoenix. Joey Logano is the only driver who has locked in a spot in the championship race in Miami with his Martinsville victory.
Along with not allowing last weekend’s win to transfer Harvick to the championship race, NASCAR docked Harvick 40 driver points and the team 40 car owner points. NASCAR suspended crew chief, Rodney Childers for two races (the rest of the playoffs) and fined him $75,000. NASCAR also suspended suspended car chief Robert Smith two races (the rest of the playoffs).
The points penalty and fine were the maximum allowed for an L1 penalty.
NASCAR penalized the team for violating Section 20.4.12.a & b in regards to the spoiler. NASCAR stated that the vehicle spoiler must conform to the CAD file and drawing. Spoilers must be used exactly as suppled by the manufacturer.
Stewart-Haas Racing stated it would not appeal the penalty:
“We work tirelessly across every inch of our racecars to create speed and, unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book. We will not appeal the penalty. Instead, we will direct our immediate focus to this weekend’s event in Phoenix and control our destiny on the racetrack.”
Tony Gibson will serve as Harvick’s crew chief the final two races of the season. Nick DeFazio will be the team’s car chief for the next two races.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller stated: “It is not our desire to issue any penalties, but will do so when necessary to ensure each race and championship is contested on a level playing field. We will now return our focus to Phoenix, and the battle for a championship.”
Here is what the points standings now look like with Harvick’s penalty:
WIN – Joey Logano (locked into championship field in Miami with Martinsville win)
4,128 points – Kyle Busch
4,125 points – Martin Truex Jr.
4,103 points – Kevin Harvick (last position to transfer to Miami)
4,100 points – Kurt Busch
4,086 points – Chase Elliott
4,068 points – Aric Almirola
4,052 points – Clint Bowyer