Teams get ‘spaced out’ at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 04: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

If you noticed that a number of cars were late answering the bell for opening Sprint Cup practice on Thursday, look no farther than unapproved parts NASCAR inspectors found on 16 cars.

NASCAR required more than a third of the Coke Zero 400 field to change out non-conforming spacers that support the hinge bars of the roof flaps on the cars. The flaps are designed to keep cars from getting airborne in the event of a spin.

Cars that used spacers differing from those included in the NASCAR-approved hinged air deflector kits were the Chevrolet of Jamie McMurray; the Fords of reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne; and the Toyotas of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Michael Waltrip.

The offending parts were displayed in the NASCAR hauler in the garage for anyone who cared to look. NASCAR will review the violations at next week’s competition meeting and decide what punitive action, if any, is warranted.

Subsequently, NASCAR discovered the same infraction in 15 Nationwide Series cars and required teams to replace those parts after Thursday’s final practice.

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