Harvick’s car (Photo by Getty Images) with Cheddar in inset. (Screenshot taken by Nick Bromberg)

People say that the old spirit of NASCAR is gone, and stock car ain’t what it used to be. All I know is that a car chief named “Cheddar” Smith just got suspended for cheating. Seems to me like the glory days never left.

Cheddar is of course a nickname, his given name being Robert. Although “Cheddar” is an obvious shorthand for “Robert,” we had questions.

Is Bob the Big Cheese over at the Harvick team? Does he love pulling in a good check for hard work in the cutthroat world of motorsports? Does he just love cheese? Not quite, as a representative for Stewart-Haas racing explained to us in an email:

Regarding Robert “Cheddar” Smith’s nickname, he’s from Whitewater, Wisconsin, and at some point during his time here in NASCAR, someone bestowed on him the nickname “Cheddar.”

What impresses me is that “Cheddar” is emblazoned on the back of his firesuit. Here he is getting into hot water for fist-bumping a race official after a lenient call:

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This is, of course, a huge incident for the big driver for whom Smith is car chief. (That driver would be Kevin Harvick, I’ll clarify.) But it’s really Cheddar who cuts right up to my attention.

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At issue appears to be an as-yet un-specified about a spoiler not meeting certain specifications, an infraction subtle enough to get figure out only now, apparently.

So now Cheddar has a two-race suspension. Put another way:

Cheddar Smith Is OUT At NASCAR

alternatively:

NASCAR Cuts Big Cheese, Cheddar Smith

or:

Who Cut the Cheese? NASCAR

or conceivably:

NASCAR Cuts Cheese

and for good measure:

NO MORE CHEDDAR; THE CHEESE IS OUT

Good on you, Cheddar. NASCAR needs more rule benders with good names. The Smokey Yunicks of the sport should not fade into history alone.