Mike Ford of NASCAR talks the qualifying blunder at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Mike Ford, Director of Communications for NASCAR explains the sanctioning bodies side of yesterday’s qualifying issues.
Kyle Larson was fastest in round 1, round 2 and round 3 yesterday in NASCAR qualifying. However, he will start last at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. Martin Truex Jr, who had the 2nd fastest time become the official New Hampshire polesitter.
Mike Ford spoke with Claire B. Lang on Sirius XM Radio, “They had an unapproved rear deck-fin lid.”
He explained, “So, their time was disallowed. Which pretty much zero’s out their time. It’s not a drop to the rear of the field type penalty. Their official starting position will be 39th on Sunday.”
Why wasn’t this found in pre-qualifying inspection?
Mike Ford responds, “That would probably be best explained by an engineer. I’m definitely not one of those. That part was made to be improved, past inspection. Then post, it was clear that it was not.”
“It’s one of those brilliant engineering tricks I guess you could say. They passed through pre-qualifying inspection just fine. Post, the part was engineered to do a certain thing and the time was disallowed”
There was a delay is the pole award announcement.
Kyle Larson took the pole award photo. But there was a delay in an official announcement from NASCAR officials. That sent out red flags.
Mike Ford explained, “Yeah, anytime there’s a delay that’s usually a pretty good signal that there’s some issues in post-qualifying inspection.”
“The one thing to get across is that NASCAR’s inspection process is very thorough. In fact, Kyle Larson is one of our major stars. He was the points leader earlier, now he’s 2nd in points. So, we’re not afraid to inspect and keep it an even playing field. Even if it causes one of our stars to drop to the rear.”
“There were a number of LIS issues. 15 cars failed, the first time through the LIS. It’s something we’ve seen a lot this year. It’s teams that are pushing right to the edge every single time. Clearly qualifying is very important. And starting position is very important.”
“They’re going to push it, every time. We’re going to make sure that they are within tolerance, every time. That’s kinda what happened there.”
Claire B Lang