Stewart-Haas Racing ‘Denies’ NASCAR ‘Allegations’ Against Cole Custer

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In the wake of the Cole Custer penalties from NASCAR, Stewart-Haas Racing has released a statement denying the charges against their driver and team. NASCAR said that Custer and the 41 team tried to artificially change the outcome of the race. They looked over team communications as well as race data.

Things have not been easy for Stewart-Haas Racing in the last few weeks. They finally decided earlier on Wednesday to abandon their appeal in the Kevin Harvick situation. That stemmed from a parts issue.

However, judging from this new statement from Stewart-Haas, I don’t think they are going to pull their appeal in this case. Cole Custer’s penalties are going to have a hearing. That will be interesting. For now, here’s what the team is saying.

“Stewart-Haas Racing denies any wrongdoing and will vigorously defend its personnel against these allegations in its appeal with NASCAR.” Straight from Greg Zipadelli, CCO of SHR.

Custer was hit with a $100,000 fine as well as a deduction of 50 driver points and owner points. Crew chief Mike Shiplett was also hit with a $100,000 fine. Shiplett is now serving an indefinite suspension. This could mean the rest of the season, but it is unclear at this time. With only four races left, one has to wonder if he will get back in the tower at any point this year.

Stewart-Haas Racing Disputes NASCAR’s Account

After looking at the team communications and race data, NASCAR had a good idea about what happened. The flat tire story seemed dubious at best. Shiplett would not be able to see the car at that time to know if there was a flat.

“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,” NASCAR said in an official statement.

According to Stewart-Haas Racing, this is just an allegation and they did nothing wrong. It is very interesting, to say the least. With the appeal filed, we should have an answer on this in the next week if not sooner. If they are able to win out on this appeal it will cast a lot of doubt on NASCAR’s decision-making.