FORT WORTH, Tex. — NASCAR held 12 teams out of the first 15 minutes of Friday’s opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway because they were late presenting their cars for inspection last week at Martinsville Speedway.
Drivers docked 15 minutes at the start of the 110-minute session, which started at 6 p.m. ET, were Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, rookie Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Landon Cassill, Cole Whitt, Michael Annett, Martin Truex Jr., Reed Sorenson, Clint Bowyer and Parker Kligerman.
“To be fair to the garage, you have to maintain schedules and equal opportunities to work on your cars,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton. “We’re more structured this year with getting our cars through inspection, getting them out on the line for qualifying.
“So to be fair to all the competitors, we have certain time frames which you’re allowed to work on your car, when you have to be out of the garage and getting ready for qualifying. We’ll continue to look at this. It’s not anything towards any shenanigans going on or any problems or issues with race tracks or inspection or anything like that. It’s just a way of doing business.”
The order in which teams go through the inspection lines is determined by lot.
Fourth grader Whitney Thomason of Trophy Club’s Samuel Beck Elementary School was the first winner Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Thomason created the winning paint scheme in Spin Master’s NASCAR Authentics “Design a Die-Cast” competition among 11 elementary schools and more than 6,500 students participating in the TMS “Speeding to Read” educational program.
In front of nearly 4,500 students at TMS, Thomason got her reward — a die-cast version of her design, tickets to Sunday’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the surprise unveiling of a full-size NASCAR Sprint Cup show car bearing her design.