After some pre-race inspection issues prior to Saturday’s Cabo Wabo 250 at Michigan International Speedway, there could be some penalties headed in the direction of Cole Custer and Stewart-Haas Racing.
On Friday, just minutes before 5:00 PM ET, NASCAR announced that it had confiscated the front splitter of the No. 00 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series garage, in order to further inspect it at the NASCAR R&D Center back in North Carolina.
#NASCAR has taken the splitter from the No. 00 (Cole Custer / Stewart-Haas) for further inspection at the R&D Center.
Any penalties will be announced next week.
— Joseph Srigley (@joe_srigley) August 4, 2023
Cole Custer, the driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing entry in the second-tier series, qualified his Haas Automation-sponsored entry in the 13th position, the lowest of the three Fords aligned with the race-winning organization – Herbst 5th, Moffitt 12th.
The exact reasoning behind the confiscation of the front splitter on the No. 00 Ford Mustang was not officially revealed, but NASCAR says that any penalties to be applied to Custer and Stewart-Haas would not be announced until next week.
Entering Michigan, a home race for the Ford Motor Company, Custer sits fourth in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, 84 points behind current regular-season points leader Austin Hill.
Currently sitting 79 points ahead of fifth-place in series point standings Josh Berry, and points reduction following Saturday’s event likely wouldn’t have a huge impact on his position but would make it difficult to climb higher in the regular-season standings.
In his return to the Xfinity Series this year, Custer and Stewart-Haas Racing have recorded a pair of victories, both on road courses at Portland International Raceway and the Chicago Street Course, while also collecting eight top-five and 12 top-10 results.