Texas Penalities Hit Title Contender

NASCAR announces that it has levied an L-1 level penalty against Stewart-Haas Racing on its #4 entry driven by Kevin Harvick. The penalty was the result of the team creating their own spoilers versus using the premanufactured ones mandated by NASCAR. Stewart-Haas Racing would not appeal the penalty, which was to strip Harvick of his automatic birth into the championship four by virtue of his Texas win, loss of 40 championship points for Harvick and the team, suspension of both crew chief Rodney Childers and car Chief Robert Smith for the final two races of the season. Stewart-Haas Racing named Tony Gibson as Harvick’s interim crew chief for the final races at Phoenix and Homestead.

NASCAR also announced penalties to Team Penske (#12 Ryan Blaney) and Joe Gibbs Racing (#20 Erik Jones). Blaney was issued a L1-level penalty for unapproved door front crush panels which resulted in a  loss of 20 driver and team points, crew chief Jeremy Bullins was fined $50,000 and car chief Kirk Almquist was suspended for the next two races. Jones was issued a L1-level penalty for infractions on the body and package tray, which resulted in a $50,000 fine to crew chief Chris Gayle and car chief Jason Overstreet was suspended for the next two races.