Kevin Harvick is no longer locked into a NASCAR Cup Series playoff spot as his race-winning car from Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway was found to have illegal alterations to the rear spoiler.
NASCAR slammed the Stewart-Haas Racing team with penalties, including not allowing Harvick to use the win for the automatic berth to be among the four drivers who will vie for the championship Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Harvick was docked 40 points, crew chief Rodney Childers and car chief Robert Smith were each suspended for the last two races of the season, and Childers was fined $75,000.
"It is not our desire to issue any penalties but will do so when necessary to ensure each race and championship is contested on a level playing field," NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said.
The penalty leaves Harvick clinging to the final playoff spot available on points, as he sits three points ahead of Kurt Busch and 17 points ahead of Chase Elliott going into the elimination race Sunday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
SHR will not appeal the penalty. Former Cup crew chief Tony Gibson will replace Childers.