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Why Was Kevin Harvick Disqualified from Talladega?
The soon-to-be-retired wheelman's Ford failed a post-race inspection, scuttling what would have been thrilling 2nd-place finish.
After a thrilling, second-place photo finish just 0.012 seconds behind Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney at Talladega, Kevin Harvick was riding high, but those good vibes just weren't meant to last.
In standard protocol, Harvick’s No. 4 Ford was inspected by NASCAR officials following the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and deemed to have unsecured windshield fasteners. The end result was a disqualification for the 47-year-old Stewart-Haas Racing veteran.
League officials ruled Harvick’s Ford violated portions of the NASCAR rule book that govern the windshield (126.96.36.199.F) and overall assembled vehicle rules (section 14.1E&P), according to Motorsport.
Still hot from the disqualification, Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers, in a since-deleted social media post on X, denied any cheating allegations, noting the unsecured fasteners originated from the rough racing conditions on the track.
"There have been times I’ve got caught doing something I shouldn’t have,” stated Childers, according to the Associated Press. “Today [I] 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."
According to ESPN, Harvick’s disqualification at Talladega is the first of any Cup Series driver since a restrictor plate violation DQ’d Marty Robbins and his Dodge on May 7, 1972.
What did Stewart-Haas Racing say about Harvick's disqualification?
Following Childers’ removal of his post, Harvick’s team at Stewart-Haas Racing issued its own statement Monday, further shedding light on the situation.
"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,” read the SHR team statement, according to Autoweek. “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,” continued the statement. “Our complete focus is on the remaining races on this year's schedule."
Harvick, who was eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after the Round of 16, was stripped of all his stage points and dropped from second to 38th. However, there was one person happy to see Harvick simply finish the race at the legendary track, which has unfortunately been the site of many infamous wrecks, relatively unscathed: his wife, DeLana.
“Alllllmost 🙃,” she posted on X. “While it didn’t end like we hoped, I’m taking Pops home in one piece never to return and I am ohhhhhh so grateful. 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 #4EVER.”
Harvick, of course, is retiring after this season. And despite the disqualification, he appeared at ease with how his career is winding down. In a moment of levity, the 2014 Cup Series champion joked that, had he won, fans would’ve torn the grandstands down. But completing the race without crashing will have to suffice.
“That would have been great,” laughed Harvick, according to the AP. “Talladega has been so up-and-down through the years. We’ve had some great moments and some bad moments. The last superspeedway race, and we went out with everything rolling, so that’s a good thing.”