Furniture Row Racing runs afoul of NASCAR’s new OSS

Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. will be starting from the rear of the field for Sunday’s Folds of Honor Quick Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  That is for certain; whether he will have crew chief Cole Pearn is still up in the air.

The No. 78 car didn’t turn a lap in NASCAR qualifying Friday.  That’s because while the rest of the 35 cars passed NASCAR’s new optical scanning station, the No. 78 team failed three times. The optical scanning system, OSS, is new this year. It replaces three inspection stations.  Last year it wasn’t unusual to have several teams still in inspection when qualifying kicked off.

The new OSS with its go/no-go measurements, has made the process much faster, and it seems much tougher for the No. 78 to pass.

Under the new rules for this season, three failures mean NASCAR could eject the team’s car chief; four failures and the crew chief is ejected.

Facing the possible ejection of crew chief Cole Pearn If they failed a fourth time Friday night, the team elected to skip qualifying.  And according to NASCAR the clock is reset, meaning they will start last Sunday but have three more chances to pass the OSS Saturday.

“NASCAR’s new inspection process is just that … new,” said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. “The tolerances are very tight, within thousandths of an inch. It’s difficult to push the limits where you feel you need to and still be within the tolerances of the new system. One thing we won’t do is leave anything on the table and expect to get poles and wins. We will always push for the maximum.”

“We had body scan problems on the rear wheel openings, and we had rear toe failure as well,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition. “It was a combination of those three times through, and we just didn’t get a green light.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.