The in-car clock and tv clock said that Bowman’s pole setting time was good; Official NASCAR timing and scoring said otherwise
Qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was special last night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The new package has created drafting groups to set the starting lineup.
That means the lead car is at a complete disadvantage. The last car to the track has the best chance to set the pole.
As a result, drivers pulled to the edge of pit road and waited as the clock ran down. With less than a minute remaining, they all pulled out at the same time.
When the field came around to start their lap, they needed to get to the start finish line before the clock reached 0:00. If a driver crosses the line to start their timed lap after time expires then the lap does not count.
When Bowman started his lap, his dash said he made it to the line on time. The scoring loop on the live broadcast said the same.
When he came back around, he jumped to the top of the board. Alex Bowman and the fans alike thought the #88 had the pole. However, NASCAR stated that he did not make it to the line on time. Instead, Kevin Harvick was declared the pole sitter.
According to NASCAR timing and scoring, Bowman was 0.531 seconds too late. Chase Elliott’s time was also disallowed as he was behind Bowman.
Instead, Hamlin and Harvick were the last cars to the line before time expired. Harvick made it to the line with 0.828 seconds to spare. Hamlin made it with 0.015 seconds before exclusion.
Teams are given a clock in the digital dashboard. That clock is suppose to mirror the official NASCAR timing and scoring. But, Bowman’s clock showed a different result than the NASCAR clock.
Alex Bowman on the Las Vegas qualifying session
“It’s their sandbox and we play in it,” Alex Bowman stated to Bob Pockrass shortly after having the pole sitting time disallowed.
“But, it’s wrong. They don’t give us an official clock to look at. Because the official clock that they gave us, our lap counted.”
The qualifying session was totally unique for the NASCAR Cup Series. Bowman was asked about that. But, he defaulted back to frustration in a hurry.
“The fans enjoyed it. It adds element to it. But, it’s really frustrating.”
“In my eyes, they’re wrong. They’ve made their fair share of mistakes and so have I. I could totally be wrong.
Later that night, Alex Bowman went to twitter:
“Clock we get says we made it. Video to the flag says we made it. Guess their clock is different,” Alex Bowman continued via twitter following qualifying.”
On Kevin Harvick’s pole run, he ended up running the low line quicker than he wanted as Kyle Busch filled a hole that he himself wanted. That move also allowed Harvick to cross the line just before time expired.
Had that not happened, he likely wouldn’t have made it to the line in time. Harvick crossed the line with .828 seconds to spare. Hamlin, who was just behind him, crossed the line with .015 seconds to spare.
Alex Bowman and William Byron did not make it on time.
“I didn’t know we were that close on time. We just wound up being the last car and ended up being fastest,” Harvick stated after taking the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.