NASCAR vows to change teams' 'ridiculous' illegal car culture

NASCAR says it must "change the culture" of its teams attempting to run illegal cars in Cup Series races as it is getting into "borderline ridiculous territory" with post-race penalties

NASCAR vows to change teams' 'ridiculous' illegal car culture

Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was hit with an L1 penalty on Wednesday that has thrown doubt on his championship challenge.

The SHR driver's victory at Texas is now encumbered, meaning it cannot count towards a place in the championship shootout, and the 40-point penalty leaves him with just a three-point buffer going into the 'final four' decider at Phoenix this weekend.

Harvick's penalty was due to a rear-spoiler infraction, and he was one of three drivers penalised this week.

"We have to change the culture. We can't just say 'take that [illegal element] off' because 'take that off' obviously isn't working anymore," said NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller.

"Teams should be bringing legal cars to the racetrack, and we shouldn't have to do those inspections all the time.

"I think we're getting in the borderline ridiculous territory."

Harvick's 40-point punishment was considerably higher than the other drivers hit with penalties this week, as both Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones were penalised with 20 points lost for other technical infractions in the Texas race.

NASCAR says it will be reviewing its methods to deter teams from pushing beyond accepted limits.

"We're actually looking at a lot of different things in the off-season in regards to the deterrence model," said Miller.

"We've heard the fans call out for, 'Why don't you DQ [disqualify] the offending car?' That's actually a topic of discussion, among with many other things.

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

"That's always on our plates during the winter."

Miller added that Harvick and his #4 SHR team's penalty was "as black and white as it gets".

The #4 Ford's spoiler was offset slightly to the right in a clear aerodynamic advantage driving into the corners, which was noted by a series inspector during the race weekend.

Miller said that the spoilers come from a single-source supplier and an inspection at NASCAR's R&D Centre in North Carolina this week found SHR's infraction.

"We believe this to be a separate manufactured part by the team," said Miller.

"But if they would have modified a standard one, the penalty is the same.

Miller added that the spoiler on Harvick's car was "absolutely, 100%, no question" not in compliance with NASCAR rules.

shares
comments
Martin Truex Jr signs for Gibbs in NASCAR for 2019, replacing Suarez
Previous article

Martin Truex Jr signs for Gibbs in NASCAR for 2019, replacing Suarez

Next article

Penske's Joey Logano: I'm the NASCAR Cup series title favourite now

Penske's Joey Logano: I'm the NASCAR Cup series title favourite now
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021