NASCAR to consider stiffer penalties for violations

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ISM Raceway announced today that grandstand seats are sold out for the Can-Am 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series semifinal playoff race on Sunday, Nov. 11.

NASCAR on Wednesday hit Harvick with an L1-level penalty for use of an illegal spoiler.

The rule in question states that spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer and not altered.

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.

Harvick was docked 40 driver points, and Stewart-Haas Racing was docked 40 owner points as well. Harvick's win at Texas no longer automatically qualifies the team for the Championship 4 in Miami.

With the stakes so high this weekend at Phoenix, where seven drivers will by vying for three open spots in the championship race, NASCAR will check spoilers at the track. He thought he had secured his spot in the championship race with his 45th career victory. Those penalties also include the suspensions of crew chief Rodney Childers and vehicle chief Robert "Cheddar" Smith for the remaining two races of the 2018 season and a $75,000 fine for Childers.

"We were right on the verge of thinking that this might fall into the L2 category", Miller said.

He's been in NASCAR's final three of the last four years.

Scott Miller, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition, said he felt SHR took the notion of pushing boundaries and exploring technology "into borderline ridiculous territory".

"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", SHR Vice President of Competition Greg Zipadelli stated.

The 2014 Cup Series champion is a nine-time victor at Phoenix, including earlier this year. Logano grabbed the first spot, which meant the best SHR could do was qualify three cars for Homestead. Harvick, along with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., is part of NASCAR's so-called Big Three that dominated the season through a stretch of summer racing.

- 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.

Also Wednesday, NASCAR penalized the teams of Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones, who already have been eliminated from the playoffs. Crew chief Chris Gayle is fined $50,000, and vehicle chief Jason Overstreet is suspended for the next two races.

"We're actually looking at a lot of different things in the offseason in regards to the deterrence model", Miller said. Nick DeFazio will serve as interim vehicle chief.

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