At first blush, it appeared as if Kevin Harvick would lose in his final NASCAR Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway by just 0.012 seconds in a photo finish to Ryan Blaney but that was before the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team was disqualified by the end of the night.
The official explanation was that the No. 4 had unsecured windshield fasteners, thus an unsecured windshield, which resulted in Harvick losing all stage points earned throughout the race and being scored last, 38th.
Specifically, the violation falls under NASCAR Rule Book sections 18.104.22.168.F Windshield and 14.1.E&P under Overall Assembled Vehicle Rules. Those rules have been detailed below:
Section 22.214.171.124.F: “Windshield fasteners must remain secure for the entire Event.”
Section 14.1.E: “Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR Rules, parts and/or assemblies must be assembled and utilized as outlined in the NASCAR Rules.
Section 14.1.P: “All fasteners must be securely fastened at all times during an Event.”
Crew chief Rodney Childers took to Twitter in a since deleted post about what happened from his standpoint.
“There have been times I’ve got caught doing something I shouldn’t have,” Childers wrote. “Today 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.”
Harvick is set to retire at the end of the season after 22 years at the highest level of the sport. The 2014 champion will be replaced next season by Josh Berry.
Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.