The most #4 team thing happened to the #4 team on Wednesday.
NASCAR hammered Kevin Harvick and his #4 team following their win at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday. After the race, the #4 car was taken back to NASCAR’s R&D Center where the violation was found. What did the #4 team do?
The team violated Section 20.4.12 of the NASCAR Rule Book that is specific to spoilers. Spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer and not altered. The infraction was discovered in post-race tear down at the NASCAR Research & Development Center.
Rodney Childers and company apparently modified the spoiler of the #4 Ford Fusion at Texas. For some unknown reason, they determined this would be an acceptable area to attempt to gain an advantage. Spoilers on Cup cars are all identical, they’re put on the car and that’s where they stay. Everyone runs the same angle, height, etc. NASCAR did not say what they altered with the spoiler. Speculation is the widened the bottom of the spoiler which makes sense.
Because of this violation, NASCAR docked Harvick of 40 Owner and Driver points. On top of that his win at Texas NO LONGER LOCKS HIM INTO THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4 IN MIAMI. That is huge, instead of living on easy street this weekend Harvick is only 3 points above the cut off line. Harvick can also not use the win at Texas for the tiebreaker.
On top of that, as if that wasn’t brutal enough NASCAR has more for us. Crew Chief Rodney Childers and car chief Robert “Cheddar” Smith have been suspended for the next TWO races. Meaning they will miss Phoenix this weekend and the championship race at Miami. This is huge.
Remember though that the #4 team got caught cheating at Las Vegas earlier in the year. At that time they modified the window bracing. Childers was suspended for the next race at Phoenix. Do you know who won that race? Kevin Harvick.
Maybe this penalty isn’t a big deal. Maybe it’s a huge deal. Harvick and the #4 team have won
eight six races this year, but continually have to overcome the adversity they bring on themselves. Phoenix this weekend will be their biggest challenge of the year.
Stewart Haas Racing said they will not appeal the decision. Essentially admitting to cheating/pushing the envelope. We’re living in a time where there is very little room to be innovative in NASCAR aero wise. The #4 team took a huge chance and got nailed. Was it worth it? We’ll see.
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