NASCAR has dealt another huge penalty after the Coca-Cola 600.
The sanctioning body found that Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 car for Stewart-Haas Racing, had violated overall assembly vehicle rules after it took the car back to the R&D Center in Concord after Monday’s Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Specifically, NASCAR found that the NACA duct to the engine panel — a single-source part designed to help keep the car cool — was counterfeit.
As a result, NASCAR dealt out one of its harshest penalties of the season on Wednesday: Briscoe’s crew chief, John Klausmeier has been fined $250,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the next six race weekends. The 14 team and driver have also been assessed with the loss of 120 points and 25 playoff points.
This news is devastating for Briscoe’s hope of returning to the playoffs for a second straight year. The 28-year-old driver sat without a win and 17th in points before Wednesday’s penalty. The penalty drops him outside the Top 30.
Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli later explained that the team “had a quality control lapse” and that a “part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” per reporting from Bob Pockrass at Fox Sports. Zipadelli added that SHR will not appeal NASCAR’s decision.
This is the second big penalty to come out of the Charlotte race weekend. Chase Elliott was dealt a one-race suspension after NASCAR found that he intentionally wrecked Denny Hamlin late in Stage 2 of the race.
It’s also the largest penalty of the season doled out to drivers and teams after they illegally manipulated parts of the car — which was one of NASCAR’s biggest offseason emphases. The sanctioning body tried to send a similar message earlier this season to Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing for illegally modifying their hood louvers, as well as to Richard Childress Racing after Austin Dillon violated vehicle assemblage rules.