By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick will be without his crew chief Rodney Childers this weekend at Pocono Raceway after a suspension from NASCAR.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that Childers has been suspended from NASCAR competition through Aug. 3 and fined $20,000 after Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet was observed with improperly installed lug nuts following Sunday’s Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Childers, 40, has also been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Stewart-Haas Racing has elected not to appeal the decision.
In his typical style, the 2014 championship winning crew chief was in good spirits upon hearing the news, acknowledging a tweet from three months prior to the penalty where he claimed he’d sit out a race by season’s end.
Told ya… https://t.co/NTgEWXxh24
— Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) July 27, 2016
With Childers out, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team engineer Dax Gerringer will assume interim crew chief duties at Pocono. Greg Zippadelli, SHR vice president of competition, will also be on hand to assist the team as necessary.
Harvick’s team wasn’t the only one to see issues in Indy. The teams of Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Matt DiBenedetto were each issued written warnings for failing pre-race laser inspection twice before Sunday’s race. The teams of Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola were given similar written warnings after failing template inspection twice before qualifications.
Austin Wayne Self’s Truck Series team also received a written warning after Self’s trailing arms failed to meet specifications in opening day inspection at Eldora Speedway.