JOLIET, Ill. — It happens every day on the highway but seldom in the Cup garage.
As Chase driver Brad Keselowski was exiting the garage area, a NASCAR official motioned for him to stop. Keselowski didn’t see the official right away and hit his brakes at the last second. Martin Truex Jr., who was following, couldn’t stop in time and rear-ended Keselowski’s No. 2 Dodge.
“Look at the back of my car, Joey,” Keselowski radioed to spotter Joey Meier. “How bad is it?”
“It’s (expletive) destroyed,” Meier replied. “Bring it back in.”
But the damage was more cosmetic than structural, and after repairs, the No. 2 team had Keselowski back on the track 15 minutes later.
Similarly, Truex’s team worked on the nose of his No. 56 Toyota and got the car back into racing shape. Truex had paced the opening practice session with a lap at 181.763 mph, more than a mile-an-hour faster than Earnhardt’s top speed.