Chase Briscoe’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team has been issued the strictest penalty in the NASCAR rule book for an infraction with the Next Gen car.

Both Briscoe and the No. 14 team were docked 120 points and 25 playoff points Wednesday. Johnny Klausmeier, Briscoe’s crew chief, has been suspended for the next six NASCAR Cup Series races and fined $250,000.

NASCAR found a counterfeit part on Briscoe’s Ford Mustang. The sections of the rule book cited included the underwing and engine panel, and the infraction found on Briscoe’s car pertained to an engine panel and counterfeit NACA duct.

“When we bring cars post-race to the R&D Center, they are completely stripped down to basically nuts, bolts, washer laid out on the floor,” NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer said. “The engine panel NACA, which is basically under the engine of the car, and the NACA duct, which allows air to travel through the NACA.

“(To) back up through the development process of the Next Gen car, we basically put an opening in the windshield as well as slots in the back glass and a NACA duct in the engine panel to allow air to get in areas of the car to help keep the car cool. So, it’s a single-sourced part that you cannot fabricate, you cannot mess with, you cannot counterfeit, and we’ve been very clear with that.”

Teams are not to modify single-sourced supplied parts of the Next Gen car. Briscoe’s team was issued an L3 penalty, the first one issued to a team under the Next Gen deterrence system.

L3-level penalties cover:

Counterfeiting of modifying Next Gen single source vendor supplied parts and/or assemblies.
Engine infractions not meeting the rules.
Engine performance enhancements.
Altering/modifying tires and/or fuel.
Violating the vehicle testing policy.

The penalty drops Briscoe to 31st in the Cup Series championship standings.

Briscoe’s Ford Mustang was one of four taken to the NASCAR R&D after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR chose Briscoe’s car and Justin Haley’s car for teardown and engine dyno. Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 and Alex Bowman’s No. 48 were taken for engine dyno. No issues were found with the other three cars.

Stewart-Haas Racing will not appeal the penalty to its No. 14 team.

“To be honest, I was a little surprised that they would go down this path,” Sawyer said. “Talking with the race team, they have some process and procedure within their race shop that they feel like they need to button, and they will. So yeah, we were a little surprised just knowing and them knowing as well the severity of it and that it would rise to an L3 penalty. Modifying a single-sourced part, as we’ve seen, that falls into an L2 bucket. But when you counterfeit a part, it falls into a bucket with engine and messing with tires and things, fuel, that isn’t going to be tolerated.”