NASCAR Issues Penalties to Stewart-Haas Racing, Cole Custer for Final Lap at Charlotte Roval

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After investigating the last lap at the Charlotte Roval, including team communications, NASCAR is penalizing Cole Custer and his team. The Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 team is being hit with a hard fine and suspensions. This was a violation of the Code of Conduct and Performance Obligations.

Cole Custer is getting hit with a $100k fine as well as 50 driver points and owner points. Custer’s crew chief Mike Shiplett is also being fined $100,000 and he will face an indefinite suspension. That could mean Custer goes the rest of the season without his crew chief as the playoffs enter the Round of 8 this weekend.

NASCAR let it be known that they would not be changing the results of the Roval or amending playoff points as a result of their investigation. And we have seen NASCAR hand out similar penalties for other violations. This is the first violation like this of the season and it is the most severe penalty in some ways. What stands out with this set of penalties is the indefinite nature of Shiplett’s suspension.

According to NASCAR, “Custer’s No. 41 Mustang appeared to slow in the final lap of Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400, impeding the path of a handful of other cars while allowing SHR teammate Chase Briscoe to slip through at the entrance to the backstretch chicane. Briscoe advanced to the next round of the playoffs by a two-point margin – that pass for position on Custer did not alter the points standings for the final transfer spot.”

There will be a lot of debate over that last sentence and just how true it really is.

Stewart-Haas Racing to Appeal Cole Custer Penalties

According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Stewart-Haas Racing is going to appeal these penalties. Not just the ones to Cole Custer but also for their crew chief, Shiplett. After William Byron’s somewhat successful appeal just last week, maybe they think they have some chance of getting at least an amended decision.

Stewart-Haas Racing is still waiting on another appeal. Kevin Harvick’s team was hit with a penalty after a single-source part was allegedly modified on their No. 4 Mustang at Talladega. So, lots of waiting for SHR in the near future.

These teams will try to shake this off, though. Cole Custer and Kevin Harvick are getting ready for Las Vegas this Sunday. This could be a chance to turn their fortunes around. It doesn’t hurt that Chase Briscoe is still in the playoffs.