From the Nascar Garage

Kevin Harvick's team has learned the hard way about the new qualifying/impoundment rules for 2005.

The new qualifying/impoundment rules for 2005 have bitten one team already. The Richard Childress-owned GM Goodwrench Chevy qualified in the top 5 at Las Vegas but was sent to the rear of the field because crew chief Todd Berrier installed an illegal fuel cell in the car that was rigged to appear filled to 22-gallon capacity while actually holding just five gallons. With less fuel, they were able to move more weight to the front of the car to improve handling. In the past, teams could qualify with the fuel load of their choice. Not so anymore.

"It wasn't a points event. It was a qualifying event," Berrier said. "When you get caught with something, if you had to play it over again you'd probably play it a little bit different, but that's my nature, it's how I've always addressed things."

The reasoning for trying to slip one by NASCAR is confusing in that Harvick’s team is guaranteed a starting spot by virtue of being in the top 35 in owners points.

Berrier appealed his four-race suspension, but the suspension was upheld. Harvick, however, overcame the loss of Berrier and won the Food City 500 at Bristol last week.

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