After $250,000 Fine for Cheating, NASCAR Publically Ousts Tony Stewart’s Team for Kevin Harvick Disgrace

Published 10/07/2023, 6:59 PM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

Alabama’s mammoth Talladega Superspeedway bore witness to a jaw-dropping finish last race weekend. The margin? A mere 0.012 seconds. Talladega has always been a hub for such close calls and thrilling photo finishes, with Team Penske winner Ryan Blaney having orchestrated 3 of them himself. But they all seem like child’s play compared to the 2011 Talladega showdown between Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer, which witnessed a finish 0.002 seconds apart. However, the 2023 excitement took a backseat due to post-race drama.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Kevin Harvick, who finished second, found himself disqualified and sent to the rear of the grid. His valiant 188-lap effort now felt like a futile endeavor. For Tony Stewart, 2023 had been nothing but a string of misfortunes, and Harvick’s disqualification was just another addition to his growing pile of woes. As Harvick’s farewell season in the Cup Series continued, luck seemed to be wringing him dry, but not for the first time. Watkins Glen had been a bitter taste, and now Talladega added to his frustrations.

SHR’s defiant response in the wake of past foul play

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The shocking disqualification cast a dark cloud over what could have been a fairy-tale ending to Kevin Harvick’s Talladega outing. A well-deserved points haul and a respectable finish seemed within grasp until Rule 14.5.6.2 came into play. This rule stipulates that windshield fasteners must remain secure throughout the race. Post-race inspection unveiled a nightmare for the No. 4 team. The Ford’s windshield, it appeared, was never properly secured from the start.

Brad Moran, the Cup series‘ managing director, left no room for doubt as he detailed the damning evidence. “With the No. 4 car, we had loose fasteners and missing fasteners on the windshield. Our rule that the infraction is pretty clear and pretty clean that windshield fasteners must remain secure for the entire event”, said Brad.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Adding insult to injury, Moran continued, “Unfortunately, with the No. 4 vehicle, we have photos because we didn’t take any of the parts because it was fasteners. There were three bolts along the windshield that were missing. The windshield seal blew out. Seven of the eight fasteners along the top were loose or missing. There are eight in total.”

Delivering a gut-wrenching verdict to Stewart, Moran concluded, “It was quite an obvious problem the car had when it went through inspection.” However, Stewart-Haas Racing remained resolute in its response to the disqualification, asserting that there was no foul play involved, in stark contrast to an earlier incident this year that saw a hefty fine of $250,000 levied against the team. This penalty was imposed due to an alleged “counterfeit part” discovered on Chase Briscoe‘s No. 14 during a secondary inspection.

WATCH THIS STORY: Denny Hamlin Warns Bubba Wallace To Watch Out Amid Creeping Playoff Desperation

Tony Stewart’s Talladega Nightmare as star driver plunges from second to 38th

Kevin Harvick’s disqualification at Talladega was nothing short of devastating. It saw him plummet from second place to an unfortunate 38th position, marking his first last-place finish of the season. To add to the misery, all the hard-earned stage points he had collected on the grueling 2.6-mile were mercilessly stripped away.

In a bid to defend their position, Rodney Childers, Harvick’s crew chief, initially took to social media with a now-deleted post. He attributed the loose windshield issue to the intense 500-mile race conditions rather than any deliberate wrongdoing. Childers stated, “There have been times I’ve got caught doing something I shouldn’t have. … got DQ’d for the car buffering in the draft all day and some windshield bolts vibrating out. My guys had silicon on the threads and gobbed on the tip. Still came out. Not sure what else we could do,”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite the initial defense, Stewart-Haas Racing ultimately accepted the disqualification, opting not to file an appeal. They acknowledged that bolts had indeed come loose during the race and issued a statement explaining the situation. The team stated, “At the completion of the race, not all of our windshield fasteners were secure, as we had bolts that hold the windshield in place back out over the course of the 500 miles. We are in the process of diagnosing why this happened and how to prevent it moving forward.”

“We are disappointed in NASCAR’s decision to disqualify our racecar and the hard-earned finish by our driver and team, but we will not appeal. Our complete focus is on the remaining races on this year’s schedule.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With each race that passes, the number of tracks left to conquer in this season grows smaller, and the chances of the 2014 champion securing a final victory before retirement seem to dwindle. As the season unfolds and opportunities for victory diminish, the question lingers: Will a fairy-tale ending ever materialize for Harvick?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Rashi Shetty

283Articles

One take at a time

Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the world of motorsport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans, which she covered extensively at the time.
Show More>

Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today