By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie
We have heard a lot about the illegal spoiler that was on Stewart-Haas Racing’s race-winning No. 4 Ford Fusion in last week’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s Scott Miller has weighed in on it, everyone has formed an opinion about it one way or the other, but one thing we haven’t gotten is the crew chief’s thoughts.
Friday, while serving the first of his two week suspension from the race track, Rodney Childers sought to squash the endless speculation and opinions about the infraction as he opened up about the spoiler that spoiled the end of his season.
Childers started the morning by replying to a tweet that suggested that Kevin Harvick had to know about the illegal part on his car.
“It’s crazy the stuff people come up with,” Childers fired back through a tweet. “There is a big difference in 2” and .200”. The change we had was 4 counts of downforce. That’s 0.04% of the total downforce of the car. If you think 4 counts is the reason we won you’re way wrong…”
After that tweet, Childers was asked by another Twitter user that if the adjustment to the spoiler didn’t result in a huge gain, why did he go through the process of chancing getting caught for such a minimal gain? According to Childers, his team was just playing catch up from what they had noticed a few weeks ago.
“This year there isn’t a number or officiating on the offset of the decklid and spoiler together on the car. And at Kansas we noticed people we were racing had the spoilers and decklids further to the right than ours. And it was too late to move the decklid over more,” tweeted Childers.
Judging by that tweet, Childers and the No. 4 team had used the illegal spoiler in just the race that they were busted in. The usually soft spoken crew chief did applaud his team for always working hard and he isn’t bitter about the penalty. He even gave credit to NASCAR.
“It’s not about that. Our team does a great job and NASCAR does a great job. We both know that and we both respect the shit out of each other,” Childers explained. “We help each other with stuff all the time. It’s part of what we do, we race and race to win.”
Childers would go on to say that he will be working 14-hour days at the shop during his suspension.
The No. 4 team will rolls into Phoenix three points above the cut line. Harvick’s teammate Kurt Busch is the first driver on the outside looking in. Harvick has tallied five wins at the 1-mile track in Avondale, Arizona since he joined Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images