NASCAR handed down an L-1 penalty to Kevin Harvick for a modified spoiler on his car last week at Texas and while the decision takes away Harvick’s final four clinching win, the sport should have gone much further. In fact, with how deliberate the infraction seemed to be, Kevin Harvick and his team should be removed from the rest of the playoffs
Not only will that send the message that cheating will not be tolerated in the playoffs, it will also fall in line with what other sport would do in this situation. Think about it! in The NFL, NBA NHL and even MLB, players can be removed from games for certain behavior, but NASCAR is still going to give a team that cheated a chance to win the championship?
While some might see taking away Harvick’s championship chances as a little harsh, its a fitting punishment for altering or replacing a spoiler, which was said to give the car an aerodynamic advantage in the corners With that being said , this wasn’t a mistake, it didn’t happen by accident, it seems more then anything like SHR knowingly altered or replaced the part to give them an edge.
Interestingly enough, Scott Miller, who serves as Senior Vice President of Competition for NASCAR, did a conference call this week to discuss the incident and was asked about what the sport would be doing in the future to prevent drivers and teams from cheating like this again. Of course he mentioned the usual point deductions and fines, but he also mentioned outright banning the offending car as well!
“We’re actually looking at a lot of different things in the off-season in regards to the deterrence model, Scott Miller said to reporters during a conference call this week, “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.”
If nothing else, disqualifying a car is a great step forward, but what might be much more effective is taking the offending race car off the track for a few races to make sure it never happens again. At least that way, its hitting the driver, team, sponsor and owner where it hurts and will start to make teams think twice before cheating to win a race again.