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Archive for Tuesday, April 16, 2002

NASCAR fines, warns Harvick

Rough tactics cost driver $35,000, extended probation

April 16, 2002

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— NASCAR fined Kevin Harvick $35,000 on Monday and extended his probation until the end of the year for rough driving at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR also warned Harvick that further bad behavior would lead to a suspension. The action comes a day after the sanctioning body "parked" Harvick, forbidding him to drive in Sunday's Virginia 500. It was the first time in NASCAR's 54-year history of Winston Cup racing that a driver was forced to sit out a race as penalty for conduct on the track.

Harvick, already on probation until Aug. 28 for an altercation with Busch series driver Greg Biffle last month, was punished for an incident with Coy Gibbs during Saturday's truck race. NASCAR drew the line when Harvick vowed to spin out Gibbs over his radio, then did by ramming his truck from behind entering the back straightaway.

Car owner Richard Childress agreed NASCAR should take action, but complained that the entire Winston Cup team was penalized for Harvick's actions in the truck series.

After taking over for the late Dale Earnhardt last season, Harvick became the first driver to run both a complete Busch series and Winston Cup schedule, winning the Busch title and earning rookie of the year honors in Cup. But he angered drivers with his aggressiveness. Some began calling him "The Instigator" a play off Earnhardt's nickname, "The Intimidator."

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