NASCAR was booed by fans at Auto Club Speedway; Drivers react and NASCAR announces pending changes
Clint Bowyer was frustrated following qualifying; Austin Dillon expects changes; Kyle Busch wants it to stay; NASCAR is making changes
Austin Dillon tricked all 12 of his competitors into not turning a lap in round three of knockout NASCAR qualifying at Auto Club Speedway.
The teams sat on the edge of the pit lane for 5 straight minutes. Nobody wanted to go first. It’s an extreme disadvantage to be the lead car in group qualifying, nobody wants to be the first car off the pit lane.
Austin Dillon was first in the line but he was in no hurry. Instead, he encouraged the cars behind him to wait by slowly cruising off the pit lane.
In the end of the five minute session, no driver made it to the line in time to start their lap. Thus, pole was set based on times set from round two.
The grandstands reacted by booing.
Kyle Busch has a question: “Are you guys having more fun talking about this today? Or single car qualifying?”
“Keep it going. Why not? What’s the problem with it.”
It was entertaining as hell. It was unpredictable. But, not every driver feels the same way.
“We just got booed and it’s disappointing. I don’t know, I saw this coming three weeks ago. I’m a little bit out of patience with Friday’s,” Clint Bowyer stated to the media after the session.
Bowyer continued, “You have the fastest car known to mankind. That you’re literally capable of building within the wall of your organization. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t matter. That’s not racing.”
Will NASCAR qualifying change?
Jeff Gluck: What does NASCAR do now?
“I don’t know. I’m not them,” Pole sitter Austin Dillon stated.
“But, I’m happy for our team to get the pole where nobody ever ran a lap in qualifying. I think that’s pretty cool. It will probably go down in a record book of some way.”
“Or, it might be the last time you ever see that qualifying again. So, we won the last one of those. That feels good.”
“I’m not the guy that makes those decisions moving forward. But, you’d probably see something different moving forward, I would assume.”
NASCAR announces pending changes to qualifying format
It didn’t take long. Just a few hours following qualifying, the NASCAR competition director addressed the media.
“We really don’t want to go back to single car qualifying. There may not be another way,” Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior VP of Competition stated.
“We want to try to exhaust every possibility before we do that. Because that’s just not as fun, not as intriguing as a show than the group situation.”
“We’re going to try to figure out a way to adjust the group qualifying thing and not go back to single. But, we got some work to do on that.”
“We won’t see this sort of situation out of Martinsville. By Texas, because it will be a little bit of the same scenario with wanting to go out there and run together and draft.”
“I would say that by Texas we will have something different in the queue.”