Texas race victor Kevin Harvick lost his automatic championship berth from the victory because the spoiler on his Ford was out of compliance. Harvick's win at Texas no longer automatically qualifies the team for the Championship 4 in Miami.
The penalty stemmed for having his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford fail post-race inspection. The infraction was discovered when NASCAR gave the vehicle a further inspection in North Carolina.
Harvick kept the win, but it won't allow him to earn an automatic berth into the championship round.
The details were unveiled late Wednesday, 10 hours after Harvick's spot in the finale was revoked.
He's been in NASCAR's final three of the last four years. Should there be a tie for the final transfer spot, Harvick would not be eligible to use the Texas victory in the tiebreaking procedure.
In addition, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will be without crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert Smith after both were suspended for the final two races.
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Bell's history of injury and suspension are other factors to consider as team's weigh how much they might offer to lure him away. A 20 percent raise on that would bring Bell back to the $14.5M figure he was set to make in 2018 on a second franchise tag.
SHR has not challenged NASCAR's cheating allegation.
Stewart-Haas Racing will not appeal the penalty.
The series heads to ISM Raceway in Phoenix this weekend for the final elimination race before the championship. All three were expected to race for the championship, and none is qualified for Homestead yet with one race remaining. "Unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book, ". He is only three points above Kurt Busch, in fifth place. 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. Driver Ryan Blaney loses 20 driver points, and the team loses 20 owner points. "We will try to do that in pre-inspection, and then I think we have enough eyes to know if a spoiler comes off a vehicle, then we go on high alert on that one". "We're under time constraints at the race track to do these inspections".
"We're looking at the whole deterrence model and trying to review that over the winter and possibly put more teeth in it because, yeah, I think we're getting into borderline ridiculous territory", he said. "To think that we can scrutinize a auto as good in five minutes and we can in three hours at the R&D Center is a bit unrealistic". He trails Martin Truex Jr.by 25 points and Kyle Busch by 28. It led to a larger NASCAR investigation that uncovered at least one other case of race manipulation.
"We believe this to be a separate manufactured part by the team", Miller said.
What happens if a vehicle fails inspection after winning the title?