NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick was penalized Wednesday over alleged modifications found to his Ford V Talladega Superspeedway.
Stewart Haas Racing and Harvick lost 100 points, respectively. Meanwhile, crew chief Rodney Childers has been suspended for the next four races and will have to pay a $100,000 fine.
The penalties were for “one source modification of the supplied part”, NASCAR said.
Minutes before the death penalty fell, Harvick sent out a tweet saying, “Sounds strange…”
Harvick is quite famous and spoke last week about the safety of the next generation car. The #4 Ford has been selected to be transported from Talladega to a North Carolina R&D center for a deeper examination.
NASCAR assures that the selection of cars for post-examination at the R&D Center is carried out at random.
But competitors are still suspicious.
“Shock,” Childers sarcastically replied to the NASCAR tweet announcing the punishment.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps defended the penalty for Team No. 4.
“I would say this is ridiculous,” Phelps said. “No one has a vendetta against Kevin Harvick or Rodney, ever, or anyone at Stewart Haas Racing.” “Our guys are very good. They will look at (a foul). Look at it again. Look at it for the third time to make sure there is a penalty and the penalty is right. If the four team thinks it’s not right, they will appeal.”
Four consecutive races with car-related issues involving The Next Generation.
Harvick caught fire in the opening match. Other cars face malfunctions in spare parts and tires.
However, the primary problem was stiffness in the rear of the car, which contributed to the concussions for both Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch.
Bowman will miss his second race in a row due to a concussion. Bowman missed last week’s race in Talladega and will miss Charlotte Roval. Noah Gragson took office as Bowman last weekend and will do so again.
Cody Shane Weir will also be sitting in Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway due to a broken foot he suffered in a crash two races ago. This is the first time in at least 20 years that three drivers have missed a race due to injuries.
Under the terms of his suspension, Shields is only allowed to work during the end of the season. On the other hand, Harvick was eliminated in the first round of qualifying – which is mostly attributed to problems with his next-generation car.
Phelps and NASCAR senior leadership are scheduled to meet with the drivers on Saturday before practice in Charlotte.
“We need to do everything we can to make our drivers feel safe in the vehicles,” Phelps said. “We definitely care about their safety. We’re working on things…to make sure we have a plan going so that gaining confidence is even better. Our goal is to be the safest sports on the planet.”
NASCAR was scheduled to test computer models of the changes this week. The hope is to help redistribute energy away from the driver during a collision.
But with only five races left in the season, no repairs won’t happen until next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.