NASCAR penalizes Chase Briscoe and Stewart Haas Racing with one of the harshest punishments in history 

NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 - Qualifying
Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 Mahindra Tractors YOG Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 22, 2023 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team were hit with one of the most severe punishments in NASCAR history on Wednesday, May 31. It came after NASCAR authorities uncovered what they said was a counterfeit part on the vehicle.

Stewart-Haas Racing was handed a $250,000 fine after it claimed to have discovered a counterfeit part in the underwing of the Chase Briscoe car. It was returned to its research and development center after the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Along with Chase Briscoe, the team were fined 120 regular-season points and 25 playoff points. Crew chief John Klausmeier was suspended for six races along with the fine.

NASCAR is committed to imposing heavy fines for changing parts since the debut of its Next Gen vehicle in 2022, which forces teams to obtain most of the parts and pieces from a designated vendor. The objective is to bring uniformity in the parts and pieces of all drivers and teams.

Briscoe finished 20th in the race on Monday, and NASCAR took two of his cars for a breakdown at its research and development center. NASCAR frequently inspects a few vehicles after races.

How does Chase Briscoe's penalty affects him?

In the aftermath of the penalty, Chase Briscoe falls from 17th to 31st in the point standings, just four points short of a playoff place. Briscoe must now win one of the next 12 races of the regular season or miss the playoffs.

Briscoe and Stewart-Haas Racing battled through the early half of this season after making the playoffs in 2022. Briscoe was never in contention and finished 20th despite using this illegal component at Charlotte.

Briscoe and his three SHR teammates have yet to win a race this season, although, Kevin Harvick is now fourth in the standings.

NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer was asked why Chase Briscoe's penalty was imposed on the team. He stated that the counterfeit component was a duct that ran to the engine panel and was designed to look just like the supplied part, right down to the writing.

"Anything that you would do around that area would be some (performance) gain or they wouldn't have done it," Sawyer said.

Stewart-Haas Racing chief competition officer Greg Zipadelli stated that the prohibited element was unintentionally installed on the vehicle for the event. The violation was classified as a Level 3 on a 1-to-3 scale in the NASCAR rule book.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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