Rodney Childers: “It’s like everybody thinks I’m a genius.”
On Sunday, Kevin Harvick dominated Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the second week in a row that Harvick went to victory lane.
However, this time, there was a bit of a controversy upon leaving LVMS. The rear window drooping on the #4 car.
As Harvick reached the end the straight-aways, the rear roof and rear window would collapse. As the caution came out or as Harvick drove to victory lane, it would snap back into it’s regular position.
Was this intentional? Kevin Harvick’s crew chief spoke this morning on the topic.
#4 crew chief
“It’s funny to me to read that stuff,” Rodney Childers tells Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. “It’s like everybody thinks I’m a genius and we just all the sudden made this happen on it’s own.”
“Basically, we had a rear window brace fail. NASCAR mandates that we run a certain T-Bar in the back glass. That T-Bar is actually pretty strong.”
“Over the winter, they wanted the rear package trace, the bottom of the rear glass to be really stiff and stay controlled. There was some guys that had the rear package trace falling an inch at the end of the year last year.”
“The bottom of the glass got stiffened up. The T Bar is stiff, then the center brace that holds that T Bar is what bent and failed. The T Bar ends up being stronger than the back of the roof at that point and it pulled the back of the roof down.”
“To be honest, that stuff has been a struggle over many many years. I can remember being at Michigan with Mark Martin in 2012. You’re just going so fast at those intermediate tracks and you’ve got so much air pushing down on that stuff.”
“I remember Mark coming off the race track. We had a 2 inch gap from the bottom of the glass to the deck lid when we come in from practice. We had to modify all that stuff.”
“We’re going to learn from this. It’s not something that we wanted to happen. You defiantly don’t want the back of the roof, sharp. You want the back of the roof, round. You want that to be a smooth transition.”
“I think everybody thinks that it helped. I would suggest that it probably didn’t help. The car was plenty fast enough before that happened and I think everybody in the garage knows that.”
“It’s just something we need to put behind us and move on.”
Kevin Harvick led 214 of the 267 scheduled laps around the 1.5-mile of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In total, Harvick has led 395 of the 799 lap total in the first 3 races of the season.
In total, Harvick has led a combined 49% of the laps for the 2018 season. Amazingly, that’s after he led 0 laps in the first event at Daytona International Speedway. He’s led 66% of the laps in the previous two events.
The race winning #4 car is currently sitting at the NASCAR R&D Center. It’s undergoing a thorough inspection process at the home base. Typically, NASCAR releases a weekly penalty report on Tuesday.
However, for the West Coast races the winning car has to be shipped literally all the way across the country, just to begin the inspection. Due to the shipment delay, the penalty report for west coast races is generally issued on Wednesday.
Does Rodney Childers expect a penalty after the NASCAR R&D Center inspection?
“I wouldn’t think so. I think the biggest thing is gettin’ it fixed and making sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Rodney Childers has been the crew chief for Kevin Harvick since 2014. Together, they have collected 16 wins.