NASCAR laid down the gauntlet for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford team on Wednesday. The team was docked 100 points in both the drivers and owners standings, fined $100k and suspended Rodney Childers 4 weeks for manipulating a single source part.
The infraction, which falls under the heading of Sections 14.1 (vehicle assembly) and 14.5 (body).
That takes Childers out from this weekend’s race on the Charlotte ROVAL through the Round of 8 finale at Martinsville making him only eligible to come back for the season finale at Phoenix.
This comes in wake of last Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway to where Childers was making his 600th career race as a crew chief. The No. 4 Ford — driven to a 29th-place finish in last Sunday’s YellaWood 500 — was one of two cars taken back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center after last weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for Martin Truex Jr. was also taken to the R&D Center for further post-race inspection.
The penalty is in line to what Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 Ford team suffered from the spring race at Atlanta earlier this season as well as Michael McDowell’s from Pocono.
While I get some may think this is a conspiracy against Harvick for speaking out as much as he has, I don’t necessarily think that would be the case because NASCAR would obviously share what they found with SHR and then if it truly is a witch-hunt against this team, they could always appeal which would make NASCAR look silly.
Harvick and Childers didn’t dispel these thoughts though with their social media posts after the announcement.
I get the aesthetics of it though to go after one of the louder voices in the room against NASCAR, but I truly don’t see any rhyme or reason to just penalize them in this fashion without any true substance. Yes, Harvick has been extremely vocal lately even calling the Next Gen “crappy ass parts” but I truly don’t see how you can put a “fix” on a penalty.