4 car chiefs ejected from Pocono Raceway; NASCAR executive comments on inspection issues
There were big issues in the optical scanning tent following qualifying at Pocono Raceway.
This weekend is an enhanced schedule. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is featured in a two-day show at Pocono Raceway. That condenses many things, including NASCAR inspections.
As a result, cars roll through inspection after qualifying. That’s not typical for other weekends with the exception of Chicagoland (which saw 4 post-qualifying failures).
Harvick set the pole. Busch ran 2nd. Kyle Larson ran 4th and Joey Logano ran 5th. Or so they thought. 4 of the top 5 cars have failed post-race inspection. They aren’t alone…
Cars failing inspection at Pocono: Kevin Harvck (1st); Kyle Busch (2nd); Kyle Larson (4th); Joey Logano (5th); William Byron (6th); Austin Dillon (12th); Jimmie Johnson (15th); Paul Menard (17th); Ryan Blaney (18th); Aric Almirola (19th); Clint Bowyer (21st); Bubba Wallace (22nd); Kasey Kahne (24th);
All 13 cars listed above will start from the rear of the field on Sunday.
Car chiefs ejected at Pocono
Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne failed inspection three teams. As a result both car chiefs have been ejected. Robert Smith (No. 4 team) and Ben Leslie (No. 96 team) will exit the race track. In addition, both cars will be handed a 10 point driver and owner penalty.
The car of Joey Logano and Paul Menard failed post-qualifying inspection twice. As a result, Raymond Fox (No. 22 team) and William Curwood (No. 21 team) were ejected as well.
“Most of the problems were centered around the body scan but not all. Some were mechanical measurements with the row toe,” NASCAR Senior VP of Competition Scott Miller stated following qualifying at Pocono Raceway.
“Quite heavy on the body scans, 13 cars. We’re disappointed in this. But, we’re certainly confident in our process. The teams didn’t do a real good job here today.”
Do you feel the tolerances need to be increased?
“Nope. No sir, not at all. If 27 of them can do it right the other 13 can do it right.”
“If one car from one team, failed. Then, the other cars were kind of built the same way. It really isn’t manufacture specific at all.”
“This is the second time we’ve operated under this system. The first time around, we had three failures at Chicago. Which, we were delighted with. That was great.”
“I think, as it goes with the race teams, there’s three failures… They feel like they weren’t pushing it enough. So, here we are. That’s just how it goes. We’ve all been doing this a long time.”
“Three failures at Chicago equated to, ‘We need to get more aggressive.’ And more aggressive didn’t cut it today for ’em.”
Does it look bad when they name a pole sitter, bring him to the media center then he fails inspection?
“Of course it looks bad. None of us like that. We hate telling that story. But, we have to make sure that the car that qualified on the pole is legal. When it’s not, that’s what happens.”
“We thought this was really great when we had 3 cars fail. Now, we don’t think it’s so great. I mean, the way we’re trying to report it.”
5 of the top 6 cars failed post-qualifying inspection. That’s no coincidence.
“The cars that run up front, let’s face it, are the high profile cars. And they’re the ones… We don’t want to see anybody have a problem. Obviously, when it’s at the front end of the field the story gets bigger.”
“This is only the second time we’ve done this. And I don’t think the teams want to be sitting here either. But, I think they tested the waters and it didn’t work out too good for them. So, hopefully the next time we have one of these inspections they’ll be able to get closer to right and we won’t have this.”
Do you still like the idea of inspections after qualifying? And the day was rushed, did that cause this at all?
“Ironically, it was something that the industry kind of asked for. The enhanced schedule and less major inspections. But, the major inspections have to be thorough, no matter when we do them.”
“So, here we are. This creates the opportunity for less major inspections. And they didn’t quite get it right today.”
“The certainly are disappointed and we’re disappointed. But, the teams have to get it right. But, the fans are also going to be disappointed if their guy finished 2nd and the car that got the pole was illegal.”
NASCAR address inspection failures
Related: Pocono Raceway – Starting Lineup