Kyle Busch says Stewart-Haas should get an ‘idiot award’

Stewart-Haas Racing was found to have a counterfeit part on the No. 14 car

After the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR took cars to the R&D Center for a detailed inspection. After that inspection, the No. 14 driven by Chase Briscoe was found to have a counterfeit part.

Violation: Section 14.1F, prohibiting counterfeit of a Next Gen single source vendor-supplied part, along with Section 14.6.A Underwing, and 14.6.3B Engine Panel Assembly.

Penalty: The No. 14 team was docked 120 driver points, 120 owner points, 25 playoff points. Additionally, crew chief John Klausmeier was suspended for six races and fined $250,000.

NASCAR said in a release, “Tightening the ducts, or counterfeiting/modifying the size of the ducts, can help a team create more downforce on the race car.”

Multiple ducts were added early in Next Gen testing. They were designed to reduce heat inside the cockpit of the car.

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The part probably wasn’t supposed to be used in any race

However, in this case, it’s likely that the part wasn’t placed on the car as any performance advantage. It appears that inventory of the duct was low, so Stewart-Haas Racing created their own version of the part.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the number 14 car at Charlotte,” Stewart-Haas Racing issued in a statement.

Yet, that part still touched the track, illegally and likely without any performance advantage. All at the risk of a major penalty, which they were dealt.

NASCAR Brad Moran stated, “It was a part that was made, for whatever reason. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place.”

The following week at Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR put the part on display at the NASCAR hauler. They also walked media through the violation and compared the part to a legal version of the duct.

NASCAR puts confiscated illegal part on display (Video)

Kyle Busch comments on the counterfeit part

“I wish we had a ‘what an idiot’ award,” Kyle Busch said of the penalty.

“I mean, even if you can’t find that part, you know you can call one of the other race teams and say – ‘hey, do you guys have this? Can we buy it from you?’ “

“It blows my mind. I don’t get it. For as little as that probably meant, that was a huge fine to the pocketbook and points book.”

Yet, Busch is highly in favor of NASCAR placing the illegal part on display.

“I think it’s kind of cool that they show all of that stuff; show exactly what’s going on and what guys are doing,” Busch said.

“What’s crazy about it though, is all the penalties have come out of the R&D Center. I guarantee you that you could take 15 cars after every single race and there would be something wrong with 14 of them, you know?”

Busch added, “It’s all the tricks and what you’re trying to do and what you can get away with, all of the time.”

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Denny Hamlin comments
Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney - WWT Raceway at Gateway - NASCAR Cup Series
MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 04, 2023 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

“I think this is a good thing,” Hamlin said. “Exposing, and kind of the public shaming, should be a deterrent. From what I saw, you almost have to think that was a mistake or just lack of judgement, for sure. But either way, it is not right.

“[NASCAR] shows you that it doesn’t fit the template, so it just doesn’t fly with us. I think it is good to be transparent. The things that NASCAR is doing to be more transparent on the safety stuff and the technical stuff I think is all good.”

“It is story lines, right? We are all talking about – hey, did you see that or not? It’s good for our sport and educates our fans, so I think it is a good thing.”

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Chase Briscoe | Stewart-Haas Racing | Charlotte Motor Speedway | NASCAR