NASCAR penalized Cole Custer and his team for attempting to help teammate Chase Briscoe gain positions on the final lap of Sunday’s Cup playoff race by impeding other competitors.

NASCAR fined Custer $100,000 and docked him 50 points. Crew chief Michael Shiplett has been indefinitely suspended and fined $100,000. Stewart-Haas Racing was penalized 50 owner points for the No. 41 car.

Stewart-Haas Racing will appeal the penalty and issued a statement: “Stewart-Haas Racing denies any wrongdoing and will vigorously defend its personnel against these allegations in its appeal with NASCAR.”

At issue was Custer dramatically slowing on the backstretch of the final lap as Briscoe battled for position behind him.

Briscoe was listed in the final transfer spot via a tiebreaker over Kyle Larson on the final lap while battling Austin Dillon and Erik Jones for position. As they headed down the backstretch, Dillon, Briscoe and Jones came upon Custer’s car, which slowed and impeded Dillon.

Briscoe went to the inside and shot by Dillon and Custer on the backstretch chicane.

Briscoe beat Larson by two points for the final transfer spot to the Round of 8.


Shortly after the race, NASCAR announced it would review data, video and radio transmissions with Custer’s car to review his actions on the final lap. NASCAR stated at the time that any decision would not impact the Round of 8 field.

NASCAR cited Custer and his team for violating Section 5.5 of the Cup Rule Book and failing to race at 100% of their ability ” with the goal of achieving the best possible finishing position in the Event.”

That section also states that “Any Competitor(s) who takes action with the intent to Artificially Alter the finishing positions of the Event or encourages, persuades or induces others to Artificially Alter the finishing positions of the Event shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR. … “Artificially Alter” shall be defined as actions by any Competitor(s) that show or suggest that the Competitor(s) did not race at 100% of their ability for the purpose of changing finishing positions in the Event, in NASCAR’s sole discretion.

The Round of 8 begins Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).


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