NASCAR team owner Tony Stewart isn’t going to be happy
Weeks ago, the Charlotte Roval race ended with a bit of NASCAR Cup Series drama. It was a playoff elimination race, trimming the playoff drivers from 12 to just 8.
Chase Briscoe was in a battle to grab the final playoff transfer spot. With new tires, he was charging through the field but only sat 1-2 points to the good as he took the white flag.
Ahead of Briscoe was teammate Cole Custer. As Custer rolled into the backstretch chicane, he slowed down significantly. It appeared the move was to let teammate Briscoe have the position.
Cole Custer’s team stated over the radio, “I think we got a flat tire. Slow up, we got a flat tire. Check up. Check up.”
As Briscoe went by, the tone from the crew changed.
The crew said over the radio, “Little tire rub. Feel it out good. You’re ok, little tire rub, keep coming.”
Briscoe was able to advance into the Round of 8. However, the positions gained with help from his teammate weren’t needed in order to advance. The move had no action in Briscoe advancing.
NASCAR penalizes Stewart-Haas Racing
The sanction issued a big penalty to Stewart-Haas Racing for ‘race manipulation’.
Cole Custer was fined $100,000. The team was assessed with the loss of 50 driver points and 50 owner points. Additionally, crew chief Michael Shiplett was fined $100,000 and indefinitely suspended by NASCAR.
NASCAR noted several sections of the rulebook. (4.3.A, 4.4.C, 5.5) NASCAR Member Code of Conduct/Performance Obligation.
However, the penalty for those violations could have been even greater, per lines in the rulebook.
Stewart-Haas Racing appeals penalty
Stewart-Haas Racing has been handed a string of penalties since the playoffs began.
In the race just before the Roval, Kevin Harvick was docked 100 points for a part modification. Additionally, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $100,000 and suspended for four races.
The penalty to Harvick was initially appealed by SHR. However, when Custer’s penalty was handed out, the team elected to drop the appeal of the No. 4 penalty.
In a matter of two weeks, Stewart-Haas Racing members were given $300,000 in fines. In most cases, the teams end up paying these fines.
After the penalty to Custer, Tony Stewart stated he was mad at NASCAR and looking for a new hobby. The team announced they would appeal the No. 41 penalty.
On Thursday Stewart-Haas Racing’s appeal was heard by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
– “That the Appellants violated the Rule(s) set forth in the Penalty Notice.”
– “That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty issued by NASCAR.”
The Appeals Panel members for this hearing:
– Dixon Johnston
– Bill Mullis
– Dale Pinilis
Stewart-Haas Racing still has the option to send the case to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.