CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start at the rear of the field for the Coca-Cola 600 after his car failed to pass inspection Thursday and did not make a qualifying attempt.
Harvick’s team also will miss 30 minutes of final practice Saturday and be without car chief Robert Smith the rest of the weekend.
Harvick’s car failed inspection three times.
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“I think it’s something that has been building throughout the year and at some point you had to get back control of it,’’ crew chief Rodney Childers said. “Basically, the template side of it wasn’t getting used and straight edges weren’t getting used and we were purely going off the (Optical Scanning Station). That was fine until it somewhat starts to get out of hand. They changed some things around last week and some personnel around and some positions around and started checking things differently.
“The whole garage had trouble last week, but we all got through it. I’ll be honest with you, we worked on this thing for 12 hours Monday (at the shop) trying to get all of it how they wanted it. We felt good about it when we unloaded it. We went through it and … everything was good.
“We went back through for qualifying and it was red. We sanded on it and it was more red, and we sanded on it again and it was more red. That part I don’t understand. That part is disappointing. It’s not their fault.
“Everybody is going to push things as much as they can, and I think everybody knows that the 4 team is out to push things as much as they can and win races. It’s disappointing to start in the back. It’s disappointing not to have (Smith) here. We’ll get through it as a race team. We’ll have a good car on Sunday.’’
About losing 30 minutes of practice time Saturday, Childers said: “You either got a good car or you don’t. I’m guessing it will be pretty good. We’ll just have to serve our penalty and move on.’’
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NASCAR fined crew chief Rodney Childers $50,000 and suspended car chief Robert Smith two Cup races for a violation with a brace on Kevin Harvick’s winning car from last weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it was penalizing Harvick 20 driver points and the team 20 owner points for the L1 infraction. Harvick also is docked the seven playoff points he earned at Las Vegas – five for his win and two for each stage he won.
Harvick drops from the points lead with the violation. He now has six playoff points instead of 13.
NASCAR stated in the penalty report that the rear window support braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times. The right side rocker panel extension did not meet NASCAR rule specifications, the extension was not aluminum.
Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement from Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition: “Late today, NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they’re imposing on our No. 4 Cup Series team. We’re going to take the time and evaluate our options, and we plan to continue dialogue with NASCAR to fully understand the rationale behind the penalty.”
The team has three days to decide if to appeal the penalty.
Harvick’s victory at Las Vegas was his second consecutive win this season.
The anomaly with his car was discussed during the race by Chase Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson on the radio. Social media posted pictures and raised questions about the car’s legality after the race.
Childers said a brace failed, causing part of the rear window to sink during the race.
“We’re going to learn from this,’’ Childers said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s not something that we wanted to happen. You definitely don’t want the back of the roof sharp. You want the back of the roof round and you want that to be a smooth transition. I think that everybody thinks that it helps. I would suggest that it probably didn’t help.’’
NASCAR also announced that crew chief Todd Parrott had been fined $10,000 because the No. 55 Cup team had a lug nut not secured at the end of the Las Vegas race.
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