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NASCAR to consider stiffer penalties for violations

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NASCAR will examine its deterrence model during the offseason as the sanctioning body considers ramping up penalties issued to teams.

Talking to reporters in a Wednesday night teleconference about the penalty to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 team, senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said that several issues will be be discussed over the winter. Texas race winner Kevin Harvick lost his automatic championship berth from the victory because the spoiler on his Ford was out of compliance.

Included in the penalty was a 40-point deduction, and Miller was asked why it wasn’t more severe and if penalties could be more severe in the future. Harvick gained the maximum 60 points at Texas because he won both stages (10 points each) and the race (worth 40 points).

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“We’re actually looking at a lot of different things in the offseason in regards to the deterrence model — we’ve heard the fans kind of call out for, ‘Why don’t you disqualify the offending car?’ and that’s actually a topic of discussion along with many other things related to the deterrence model,” said Miller. “Stiffer penalties at track and for failing inspection and for ‑‑ a lot of different things on the table.

“With any of those, there’s a lot of things to work through and a lot of things to consider, especially when you kind of get to the disqualification level or something like that. There’s a lot of knockoff effects from that as to how the rest of the field shakes out and all that. But certainly, points, deterrence models, fines, suspensions, all that stuff is always on our plate during the winter. We always review what has happened in the current race season and always are looking to improve that process.”

In the immediate aftermath when it comes to spoilers, Miller said NASCAR officials would be taking them off the cars this weekend at ISM Raceway and checking that they are the correct pieces.

“Yeah, we’ll have to take them off and match them up against the part that it’s supposed to be,” Miller said. “We will try to do that in pre-inspection, and then I think we have enough eyes to know if a spoiler comes off a car, then we go on high alert on that one.”

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ABOUT KELLY CRANDALL

Kelly has been on the NASCAR beat full-time since 2013, and joined RACER as chief NASCAR writer in 2017. Her work has also appeared in NASCAR.com, the NASCAR Illustrated magazine, and NBC Sports. A corporate communications graduate from Central Penn College, Crandall is a two-time George Cunningham Writer of the Year recipient from the National Motorsports Press Association.

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