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

Rex Christensen
November 9, 2018

Saying that "I think we're getting into borderline ridiculous territory", with violations, NASCAR's Scott Miller said Wednesday night that the sanctioning body is considering stiffer penalties next year for cars that fail inspection.

- NASCAR will perform an engine teardown and enhanced post-race inspection immediately after the Homestead race (as it has done in the past) rather than wait until midweek to scrutinize the championship auto for any amusing business. Texas race victor Kevin Harvick lost his automatic championship berth from the victory because the spoiler on his Ford was out of compliance.

"Certainly points, the deterrence model, fines, suspensions".

Miller said the spoiler did not conform to the CAD file that NASCAR had for the part.

The impact of the penalty stretches behind Stewart-Haas Racing as well. 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 auto got back to the R&D Center".

Joey Logano is now the only driver locked into Homestead with "The Big Three" of Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. now in on merit.

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Stewart-Haas Racing team will not appeal the penalty and former Cup crew chief Tony Gibson will replace Childers.

"We work tirelessly across every inch of our race cars to create speed, " Zipadelli said. Johnson was sent to the back of the field because NASCAR believed his vehicle failed inspection three times, but he had failed only twice.

Now Harvick's team has been rocked by a penalty that may change the composition of the final four drivers racing for the title.

"It is not our desire to issue any penalties, but we'll do so when necessary to ensure each race and championship is contested on a level playing field", Miller said earlier Wednesday. "We will now return our focus to Phoenix, and the battle for a championship".

An NASCAR inspector noticed something looked amiss on the No. 4 during the post-race inspection at the track, a finding that led to officials breaking down the spoiler completely once back at the R&D Center, where the infraction was then discovered. Both drivers were already eliminated from the playoffs in earlier rounds.

Blaney crew chief Jeremy Bullins was fined $50,000, and vehicle chief Kirk Almquist was suspended for the next two races. "The teams should really be bringing legal cars to the racetrack and we shouldn't have to do that inspection all the time". Harvick has seven wins in his last 12 starts at Phoenix and nine wins in 31 starts overall.

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