– And now some breaking news on “NASCAR Race Hub.” We said off the top, no penalties coming down for the 4 team after their issues following the race in Las Vegas, but we have received word from NASCAR just now that there will be penalties.
Car Chief for the number 4 car is suspended for two races. 20 driver and owner points taken away from that 4 car. Kevin Harvick had taken over the regular season championship lead. And a $50,000 fine has been issued. Now, we did not hear whether or not they lost those seven playoff points accumulated in the race on Sunday. Harvick gets five for winning the race and one apiece for victories in stage one and stage two, but we assume since that was not a part of the announcement, that he keeps those playoff points. We’ll have more on this story coming up on “NASCAR Race Hub.”
Rodney Childers OK, not suspended. Car Chief suspended for two races, 20 driver and owner points taken away from the 4 team, and a $50,000 fine. Brad Keselowski on the show yesterday, Bobby Labonte, they didn’t think there would be any penalties. We spoke earlier. You guys said probably no penalties. Are you surprised that NASCAR has come down on the 4 team?
– Yes and no. I didn’t think there were going to be penalties, but in the back of my mind, if NASCAR wanted to make a statement, now was the time to do it.
You said that to us earlier, actually.
– Yeah, the 4 car doesn’t have anything to really lose. I mean, they’ve already won two races. If you’re going to take points away from them, that’s going to hurt their spot in the garage a little bit, where they’re parked. Kevin Harvick is not sweating over losing 20 points right now and neither is Gene Haas or Tony Stewart. They didn’t want to, but it’s a good time for NASCAR to make a statement.
– So how does this get you guys all scrambling, because my understanding was that this was one part that wasn’t really being policed, wasn’t really being penalized. But I mean, how does this get you guys scrambling moving forward?
– It’s NASCAR’s job to find these gray areas, and it’s the teams’ job to work in the gray areas. And obviously, Rodney Childers and that SHR group, you know, they found an area that maybe was important or a part they could break or maybe it was just pure coincidence. I think only Rodney or maybe Kevin knows that, but it’s NASCAR’s job to kind of decipher what’s real and what’s not. And to Drew’s point, they make a statement today, because if they don’t make a penalty, I think all the other teams are forced to go and look at that area. You know, what did they do? Did they gain anything? Was it a big advantage or a small advantage.
– Twitter’s going to have pictures of 25 cars in California that are doing this if we didn’t–
– That’s right.
– Hey, this question’s going to be asked as well though. He’s won twice. He’s locked into the playoffs. So as you said, those driver and owner points really don’t mean a lot, OK? But and we’ll look at the revised points here, and he does want to be the regular season champion because that comes with a ton of playoff points. But look at the playoff point column, and he’s got 13 playoff points, right?
Now, here we’ve taken them away. The word we had gotten originally is that he would not lose the playoff points from the race on Sunday in Las Vegas. If you don’t take away those playoff points, this is really a big statement on the way NASCAR may handle this going forward, I would guess.
– Yeah. I think we’ve seen that in the past. We have a monthly call with NASCAR where they talk about what’s going on for the upcoming weeks, and they made it a strict point to let us know, hey, this is an area we’re not going to mess with. If we see it from the tower, we are going to penalize you and penalize you big. And we thought, oh, this is the case of the guy who does it first might get away with it. Don’t do it anymore. And that’s what, I think, we were thinking as teams. Well, it looks like the guy that did it first isn’t going to get away with it either.
– I will be interested to see– we talked about momentum– how this could possibly affect this 4 team. I’m not saying it’s the same thing, but last year, when Joey’s team had something similar happen, we saw that a lot of momentum was taken away. So I’ll be interested to see how that continues this weekend.
– That one did, though, add pressure, because he didn’t have a win to fall back on. Even if Sunday’s totally taken away, the win in Atlanta is not, so we know Harvick is going to the playoffs.