Adam Stevens, crew chief for Kyle Busch on NASCAR teams being called ‘cheaters’

Adam Stevens: “There’s just so many rules. If anybody would ever see the rule book, it would take you a week to read it.”

NASCAR race cars are closer than they’ve ever been. As far as the sanctioning body, NASCAR is doing exactly what they’re suppose to do.

They’ve taken on the task of keeping 100-million dollar a year race teams in check. With a budget that large, the race teams are fully staffed with brainiac engineers in every depart who hold the sole purpose of pushing every page, sentence and letter in the NASCAR rule book.

Two weeks ago, Harvick failed inspection following a win at Texas Motor Speedway. The team modified the rear deck lid and spoiler to skew it to the right by 200-300 thousandths of an inch.

This week, the competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing said, ‘no NASCAR race car is 100% legal’. Of course, the fans are quick throw out the use of the word ‘cheater’.

Related: Greg Zipadelli says no car is 100% legal to the NASCAR rule book

Kyle Busch, winning burnouts at ISM Raceway
PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 11: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway on November 11, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Adam Stevens on the NASCAR rulebook

Matt Weaver: Do you feel offended when fans use the word ‘cheater’ in regards to crew chiefs? Do you feel fans lack a certain education of what your job is as a crew chief?

“Yeah. There’s just so many rules. If anybody would ever see the rule book, it would take you a week to read it,” Adam Stevens, crew chief for Kyle Busch stated following the win at ISM Raceway.

“There’s different levels of things. But, it’s our job to put the fastest car on the race track as possible. You’re up against it, all the time.”

“It’s not too hard to imagine crossing over that line in one area or another. If the measurement is one inch on something and you’re an inch and forty thousands… are you a cheater?”

“I would say, probably not. But, there’s different levels of that too. It’s a difficult situation to be in for sure.”

Related: Encumbered NASCAR champion?

Kyle Busch - NASCAR Inspection at Auto Club Speedway
FONTANA, CA – MARCH 16: The crew for the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, driven by Kyle Busch (not pictured) attempt to pass inspection during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 16, 2018 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

NASCAR looks to crack down on rule violations

NASCAR has had it with the teams. They see all this as ‘ridiculous’. L1 after L1 penalty, the advantages of race wins continue to be taken away.

Yet, week after week the same inspection issues surface. Teams make multiple passes through the pre-qualifying inspection tent. Then, another team is caught modifying spec mandated parts.

When Harvick was penalized at Texas, NASCAR almost issued an L2 penalty. Instead, they went with the high end of the L1 category which netted a $75,000 fine.

In 2019, NASCAR is looking to put a stop to it. Instead of keeping the win, disqualifications are on the table for teams that violate the rule book.

“Stiffer penalties at the track for failing inspection. A lot of different things on the table,” Scott Miller said last week.

Related: NASCAR is looking at disqualifications for failing post-race tech in 2019

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 22: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Homestead-Miami Speedway Inspection

Next weekend, failing inspection is a much bigger deal. NASCAR has extra eyes on everything. Kyle Busch will be one of the four drivers competing for a championship trophy.

In previous years, cars were sent to NASCAR inspectors two weeks ahead of the championship event. New for 2019, they’re not doing that. Instead, it’s going to be done at the track just like it is every week thanks to the new Hawkeye scanning system.

“We’re still held to the same standards and the same tolerances. They will tear every square inch of that car apart after the race,” Adam Stevens explains.

“If you upset them, you’ll know about it. That’s how they keep the playing field level. It’s no different than any other weekend.”

“The Hawkeye has been a great equalizer. The bodies are all in a very tight box. You can’t really fool that thing.”

“All the things that make the car go fast, they have a way to check. It’ll be heads up, when we get there,” Stevens concluded.


NASCAR provides the details of Kevin Harvick’s rear spoiler violation

2017 NASCAR Cup Series penalty reports and the most frequent violators

NASCAR considered handing out an L2 penalty to Kevin Harvick after Texas

Stewart-Haas Racing issues a statement following the penalty at Texas

NASCAR team owner Tony Stewart comments on the NASCAR inspection process


Kyle Busch | Homestead-Miami Speedway | NASCAR