13 cars failed to make it through pre-qualifying inspection – They start the race on Sunday with new tires which would have been an advantage if NASCAR didn’t adjust the rules on them
As the light switched to green in the first round of qualifying, Jimmie Johnson was walking back to the garage area. Johnson and twelve other drivers would not make an attempt to qualify in Auto Club Speedway.
Those 13 drivers will now start the race on Sunday with brand new tires. All 24 cars ahead of them would have been sitting on tires that are 1-6 laps older. The back of the field would have drove right through the middle of the pack.
“I’m watching those guys in the garage, kinda drooling a little bit. Because they’re in a really, a great position by not qualifying with the tires wearing out like they do. They’re going to drop the green for the race and drive right to the front,” Brad Keselowski told Fox Sports ahead of his 11th place qualifying effort.
“But, our guys want to qualify. So, we’re out here. We’re going to go do it.” Brad Keselowski concluded.