On the last lap of the race, Custer’s No. 41 Ford slowed abruptly in front of two competitors, holding them up as his Stewart-Hass Racing (SHR) teammate, Chase Briscoe in the No. 14 Mustang, passed them. Briscoe’s No. 14 Ford team was on the cusp of elimination from the Playoffs, and every position was critical if Briscoe was to avoid elimination. Note that Custer’s No. 41 Nascar Mustang did not make the Playoffs this year.
On the No. 41 Ford team radio, Custer was told to check up because of an alleged blown tire, and he responded by slamming the brakes and forcing the No. 3 Chevy Camaro ZL1 of Austin Dillon and the No. 43 Camaro of Erik Jones to slow. Briscoe’s No. 14 Mustang shot past them, gaining valuable points and avoiding championship elimination.
Nascar stated after the race that it would review the last-lap incident, as it seemed rather suspicious. On Tuesday, October 11th, the organization announced that Custer’s actions behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford were in violation of Section 5.5 of the Nascar Rule Book, which states that competitors are required to race at 100 percent of their ability and outlines action against competitors who intend to “artificially alter” the race’s finishing positions.
As a result, Custer and his crew chief, Michael Shiplett, were each fined $100,000. Shiplett is also suspended until further notice. The No. 41 Nascar Ford team was docked 50 points in the driver and owner standings. SHR indicated that it will appeal the penalties. The No. 14 Mustang of Briscoe was not penalized and remains in the race for the Playoffs.
It’s worth noting that this is not the only penalty recently assessed to a Mustang fielded by SHR. The No. 4 Mustang of Kevin Harvick was penalized after Talladega race for unapproved modifications to a single-source part.