After a Thursday deliberation, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel has decided to uphold all of the penalties assessed to Stewart-Haas Racing, driver Cole Custer, and crew chief Mike Shiplett, following the NASCAR Cup Series event at Charlotte’s ROVAL.
The penalties, originally assessed on October 11, were distributed as a result of the sanctioning body’s determination – by looking at radio communications and telemetry data – that Cole Custer, Mike Shiplett, and Stewart-Haas Racing had attempted to modify the outcome of the Bank of America ROVAL 400.
“The data was pretty telling, and then when we got to the audio and to have the crew chief telling the driver, ‘I think you’ve got a flat. Check up, check up, check up,’ when he couldn’t even see the car or have any idea whatsoever that the car might have a flat. Pretty obviously pretty telling as to what went on there,” said Scott Miller upon the announcement of the penalty.
Custer – who drives the No. 41 Ford Mustang – was docked 50 driver and owner points and given a monetary fine of $100,000. Custer’s crew chief, Mike Shiplett, was also given a $100,000 fine, but was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR.
About two weeks after the penalties were announced, the Appeals Panel heard and considered the organization’s case, but found that the penalized parties did indeed violate the sections of the NASCAR Rule Book laid out by the sanctioning body.
Stewart-Haas Racing has yet to provide a statement on the results of the appeal, but had issued a previous statement in regards to the penalties that said: “Stewart-Haas Racing denies any wrongdoing and will vigorously defend its personnel against these allegations in its appeal with NASCAR.”
The team does have the opportunity to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, but has not made it clear if they will undergo that process.