Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 team received an L1-level penalty Wednesday (March 7) after two violations were found on Kevin Harvick‘s race-winning car during teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C.
The first violation was of Section 22.214.171.124, which occurred after a brace that supports the rear window failed. As a result, the rear window could not remain rigid in all directions at all times. The second violation was that the rocker panel extension was not aluminum, violating Section 20.4.18.
NASCAR’s punishment to the No. 4 team is as follows. Harvick will not get the benefit of the race win towards playoff eligibility. He also loses the seven playoff points he earned Sunday by sweeping the stages in Las Vegas.
Crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $50,000, and car chief Robert Smith has been suspended for the next two races.
The team was also docked 20 driver and owner points. Due to the penalty, Harvick falls from the points lead to third, 17 points behind Joey Logano.
According to NASCAR.com, officials decided to suspend Smith instead of Childers because the car chief plays a more prominent role in dealing with the intricacies of the car each weekend.
This is the second consecutive week that Harvick’s team has received a post-race penalty. After NASCAR found one loose lug nut following the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Childers was fined $10,000 for a safety violation.
Stewart-Haas Racing has the ability to appeal the penalties to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. As of press time, they have not indicated whether they will appeal or not.
Additionally, the No. 55 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Joey Gase received a safety violation of its own after it was caught with one loose lug nut during post-race inspection. Crew chief Todd Parrott received a $10,000 fine.