Cole Pearn discusses 3 failed inspections for the #78 of Martin Truex Jr
All 3 attempts at pre-qualifying inspection didn’t go as planned for the #78 of Martin Truex Jr. In fact, Furniture Row Racing never made it passed the OSS to the take to the track for qualifying.
The team could have sent the car through NASCAR’s brand new inspection station for another round. They didn’t. Instead, the team just bailed on inspection and elected on a 35th place starting spot. A fourth failure would have brought a steeper penalty.
Due to 3 failed passes through the Optical Scanning Station, the team lost their car chief for the weekend. Blake Harris was ejected from Atlanta Motor Speedway and the team had to fill in the blanks.
“We all had to pull together,” Cole Pearn tells Claire B Lang via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. “Blake’s a huge part of our team. So, splitting up his duties — I had to work on the car a lot more than I normally do. That was good for me, in a way.”
“We made it to every practice session on time. We made it through tech today, without any trouble.”
With time to spare, they elected not to make a fourth attempt. If they failed a 4th time, Cole Pearn would have been put on vacation. In addition, the team would have been handed a point penalty. But, the reason for the failure is somewhat of a mystery to the team.
“We were pretty caught off guard by that last failure. We passed rear toe the time before that. We didn’t really anticipate it jumping 2/3 passed the window.”
“But, it did. You just didn’t want to risk some other random reading the next time. That was tough. I was pretty confident we would’ve passed that third time.”
“It’s what happens I guess. I don’t know, it’s frustrating. That was the right call. There’s no reason to risk having me thrown out or getting a points penalty.”
Is it the travel? Furniture Row Racing comes from Denver, Colorado. It’s a 20.5 hour drive from Denver to Atlanta. Did the car shift during transport?
“The OSS was really stable for us all weekend. We just had that one really goofy read the third time through.”
“We went back through today, same as we were that time and we were back to the way we were before. After the race, we were the same as we were before the race.”
“We just had that one random read. That is really what threw the weekend off.”
Furniture Row Racing, down a man, went on to rally through the weekend. Martin Truex Jr passed the #78 in 5th place as they crossed the line on Sunday.
Related: NASCAR announces penalty to #78 team