Kevin Harvick stripped of berth in NASCAR title race

Rex Christensen
November 8, 2018

Harvick's win in Sunday's race no longer counts for a berth in the Cup Series' championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks after NASCAR said Wednesday that the team had violated the rules regarding the spoiler on his vehicle. NASCAR says the discovery negates Harvick's automatic berth he earned into the finale at Homestead. He must win at Phoenix to advance to the championship race in Miami. The infraction was discovered when NASCAR gave the auto a further inspection in North Carolina.

Harvick lost 40 points, and Stewart-Haas Racing lost 40 owner points.

Harvick was penalized 40 points and the win was stripped for championship purposes - though Harvick is still officially counted as the race victor. As part of the penalty, Harvick can not use the win at TMS in a tiebreaker. Crew chief Rodney Childers is suspended for the rest of the season. Childers also was fined $75,000.

"It is not our desire to issue any penalties but will do so when necessary to ensure each race and championship is contested on a level playing field", NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said.

"We work tirelessly across every inch of our race cars to create speed and, unfortunately, NASCAR determined we ventured into an area not accommodated by its rule book", Zipadelli said.

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SHR has the right to appeal the penalties to NASCAR Motorsports Appeals Panel.

Zipadelli said Tony Gibson will serve as interim crew chief and Nick DeFazio will be interim vehicle chief. Harvick led 177 of 337 laps at Texas and sprinted past Ryan Blaney on the last restart for the win.

He had joined Joey Logano as the only drivers locked into next weekend's championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Almirola finished eighth and is 57 points out of the final transfer spot heading into Sunday's race at Phoenix (2 p.m. ET on NBC). At-least two drivers will now make the final four via points and possibility a third depending on who wins at Phoenix on Sunday.

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