On the last lap of the road course race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas racing driver Cole Custer in the number 41 car slowed up on the track causing drivers behind him – Austin Dillon and Erik Jones – to check up and allowed SHR teammate Chase Briscoe to pass other cars and eventually go on to make into the next round of the playoffs. NASCAR deemed the move an intentional maneuver to alter the outcome of the race and assessed a penalty on Custer and SHR.
The team appealed the ruling and on October 27 the National Motorsports Appeals Panel – made up of three members – ruled on that appeal. The panel upheld the penalty issued by NASCAR for violating Section 5.5 in the NASCAR rule book.
As a result of the infraction, Custer has been fined $100,000 and docked 50 driver points, crew chief Mike Shiplett has also been fined $100,000 and suspended indefinitely, and team owner Stewart-Haas Racing has been docked 50 car owner points. The panel upheld the penalty with no adjustments or augmentations.
Section 5.5 NASCAR rule book states a driver must be race at 100 percent of their ability and take no action to alter the outcome of a race.
NASCAR took no action during the race but instead waited until later to review all of the data including radio transmissions between the spotter, crew chief, and driver.
When issuing a penalty, NASCAR gave no indication as to what actions Shiplett must take in order to be reinstated.