How much did that dent in Kevin Harvick’s car actually help him on track?

Video Details

The 'NASCAR Race Hub' crew goes 'Next Level' to break down the aerodynamics behind the dent in the rear windshield from Kevin Harvick's race-winning car.

[MUSIC PLAYING] ADAM ALEXANDER: We're back on "NASCAR Race Hub," going next level with Kevin Harvick. Now, his stats that he's put up the last couple of weeks, that's worthy of next level conversation.

- Yep.

- But so were some of the pictures that have come out following his victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Everyone discussing the top right of that rear windshield. Brad, what do you see here?

- Well there's one really key thing to look at. And that is right here. I'm going to put a line here so you can highlight it. This is the back of the roof. You can see that it's not straight. It's got a big dip in it, along with the rear window.

And this is what everybody on the internet and everybody is talking about is the NASCAR garage. What does this mean? What does it do? How did it impact the performance? Well, I can tell you, it doesn't make the car run worse. And that, at this time, there is not a rule against what we see here.

- Brad, would you agree that when you see something like that on the race track, you might say something over the radio to your--

- Absolutely.

[LAUGHTER]

- Drivers on the tracks certainly did.

[SWOOSH]

[SWOOSH]

- OK. So, Bobby, take me inside the race car. Why is this something, this particular area? Why is it something that a driver might want?

- Well, you always want your crew chief to push everything, all the envelope, all you can do. So I think in this case here, as far as driver's concerned, if you're going to have a little bit of deflection in something, that's not a bad area to have that.

[CHUCKLING]

And I think that might be a little excessive. But, you know, as far as the driver goes, too, I've always seen other cars. I've seen, you know, what people do with flares, what they do with the back glass. The spoiler might be a little different. And I've always looked at him and said, yeah, that guy's beating us because of that. So--

[LAUGHTER]

--that-- to see Chase see that, that's obviously-- well, I've done the same thing.

- We've heard from Bobby. We've heard from Brad. We heard from Chase Elliott, Alan Gustafson. What do you say we listen in to Rodney Childers? He was on "Sirius XM NASCAR Radio" earlier today.

[SWOOSH]

RODNEY CHILDERS: You know, basically, we had a rear window brace fail. And, you know, NASCAR mandates that we run a certain T-bar in the back glass. And that T-bar is actually pretty strong. The T-bar ends up being stronger than the back of the roof at that point. And then it pulled the back of the roof down.

But, you know, it's not something that we wanted to happen. You definitely don't want the back of the roof sharp. You want to back of the roof round. You know, I think everyone thinks that it helps. 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. And, you know, it's just something we need to put behind us and move on.

[SWOOSH]

- Certainly, the car was plenty fast. So we saw that last week and this past weekend in Vegas. Passed pre-race inspection, passed post-race inspection. They'll now bring it to the R&D Center. How does a car that looks like this pass those inspections, Brad?

- Well, one of the things to remember is that the post-race OSS station, which is the optical scanning station, new for 2018, measures the car. But at this point in time, NASCAR does not have a rule that you have to fit within after the race. So even if it didn't pass that station, there's no rule against it. So this area is not policed or enforced. So it wouldn't matter.

- Your evaluation on what's being done here, if there's any intent and will we see this again out of the 14, Bobby?

- Well, I think like Rodney said, there was a failure in the rear, in the T-bar. And I know, you know, this is something that nobody wants to see, especially Rodney, because Rodney is the guy that he doesn't want that to happen.

I've worked with Rodney at Michael Waltrip Racing, was a crew chief for David Reutimann. First one in, last one out. He's of the hardest workers in the garage. So you want a crew chief to push everything. But I know that didn't happen for the reason that people think it is.

I mean, they were definitely fast. They won Atlanta. They've been fast since last year. It wasn't because of that. That did happen. It's just way it goes.

- OK. Let's take a look at a pit stop, Brad. Because when he comes down pit road, it looks fine.

- Well, yeah. You're not going 200 miles an hour. So that tells you that the air pressure, Shannon, makes a huge difference on how these cars move. They're kind of like oil cans. And a little bit of pressure and then they'll pop in and out. They'll pop all over. And so you want it to pop in the right direction.

You could probably argue, based off of Rodney's comments, whether it was good or bad. I would probably say it was good, not bad. But I think, again, it's critical to say he was fast before that happened. He's been fast all year so far in 2018 and at the end of 2017. This probably wasn't the difference maker. But it probably didn't hurt his car performance either.

- Penalties, no penalties? What do you think?

- I think no penalties. I think NASCAR is going to really scrutinize this area in tech inspection over the next few weeks to make sure guys don't have any failures. But I don't see a penalty coming.

- I don't think you'll see this happen again.

- No, I don't.

- NASCAR is not going to let that happen.

- They're going to deliver the message, right?

-That's right.