NASCAR: Harvick’s crew chief gets $25,000 fine in P3 level penalty

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Several penalties have been handed out in the last 24 hours in NASCAR, including one to Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team.

As a result of unapproved added weight at Watkins Glen, Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers has been issued a $25,000 fine in a P3 level penalty.

This was potentially coming given the “bean bag weights” were left in the car, and affected Harvick’s day.

Here is the full release from NASCAR, issued Wednesday morning:

The No. 4 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized due to a rules infraction committed during the Aug. 10 race at Watkins Glen International.

The infraction is a P3 level penalty and is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 rule book:

  • A.Violation examples could include but are not limited to:

o     1(c): Unapproved added weight and/or weight affixed improperly (e.g. Unapproved added weight (size and material); unapproved added weight location, but not of a nature rising to a higher numbered penalty.

The infraction violates the following sections in the rule book:

  • 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
  • 20-2.3:Added car weight

o    A. Any weight added to the car must be bolted inside the body shell in an approved weight container and in a position acceptable to NASCAR officials

o    Added weight must be in block form of not less than five pound blocks (no pellets) and painted white with the car number or team identification permanently legible on it.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $25,000.

Additionally, a warning was issued to the No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing team for improper adding or removing fuel; per NASCAR, it needs to be done outside the garage structure.

Meanwhile earlier this morning, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crew member Troy Cupples was suspended indefinitely for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.