With penalties getting ‘borderline ridiculous,’ NASCAR will consider harsher punishments

With penalties getting ‘borderline ridiculous,’ NASCAR will consider harsher punishments

With penalties getting ‘borderline ridiculous,’ NASCAR will consider harsher punishments

NASCAR takes the winning vehicle, the runner-up and any other cars it determines - either by "random" or by choice - to its research center in North Carolina for additional inspection, a process that often takes a few hours.

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller revealed additional details on the L1-level penalty issued Wednesday to the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team, saying the spoiler on Kevin Harvick's auto was "absolutely, 100 percent, no question" not in compliance with the NASCAR Rule Book. Kurt Busch is the final combatant, as he sits just three points behind Harvick. Those penalties also include the suspensions of crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert "Cheddar" Smith for the remaining two races of the 2018 season and a $75,000 fine for Childers. That leaves Harvick to fight for his playoff life at Phoenix this weekend with backup crew chief Tony Gibson.

"We're looking at the whole deterrence model and trying to review that over the winter and possibly put more teeth in it", Miller said, per AutoWeek. An inspector at Texas thought the spoiler looked off, but Miller said it had to be removed from the vehicle.

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Stewart-Haas Racing announced early Wednesday that the team would not appeal the penalty.

Harvick's win at Texas was his series-leading eighth of the year and qualified him for Homestead along with Joey Logano. Logano is not making any friends during his run for the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship. 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".

NASCAR will examine its deterrence model during the offseason as the sanctioning body considers ramping up penalties issued to teams. The crew member was sitting on the wall with his feet touching the asphalt on pit road, which was a violation, even if it seemed extreme. He trails Martin Truex Jr.by 25 points and Kyle Busch by 28.

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Harvick is not the only driver to get an L1 penalty.

As a result, Harvick's victory does not count toward automatic advancement into the Championship Race at Homestead.

"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. "We will now return our focus to Phoenix, and the battle for a championship". Ryan Blaney's team was punished and so was the team for Erik Jones. Jones crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $50,000 and auto chief Jason Overstreet was suspended the next two races. NASCAR doesn't penalize teams for a prequalifying or prerace inspection failure and penalizes the team practice time the following week for two inspection failures. Nick DeFazio will serve as interim vehicle chief.

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