While the attention was on the post qualifying inspection failures of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch Saturday at Pocono, in the bigger picture a total of 13 cars failed the post qualifying inspection.
In addition to Kyle Busch and Harvick, who had earlier ran the fastest lap of the day at 177.750 mph, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, and Ryan Blaney all failed inspection once, had their qualifying times disallowed and will start from the rear of the field Sunday.
The cars of Joey Logano and Paul Menard failed twice and in addition to having their time disallowed, had their respective car chiefs ejected.
The news for Harvick was even worse; he and Kasey Kahne both saw their cars fail three times; in addition to having their time disallowed and their respective car chiefs ejected, both lost 10 points.
Most of the problems centered around the body scan but not all,” NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told assembled media Saturday evening. “Some were mechanical measurements with the rear tow quite heavy on the body scans,”
“13 cars,” he said. “We’re disappointed in this but we’re certainly confident in our process. “The teams didn’t do a real good job here today…27 of them can do it right, the other 13 can do it right”
This weekend is a compressed schedule with the Cup series running a two schedule.
“This is the second time we’ve operated under this system,” Miller said. “The first time around we had three failures I believe it was at Chicago; we were delighted with that, that was great. As it goes with the race teams, there was three failures, they feel like they weren’t pushing it enough, so here we are.”
Saturday Harvick was on his way to the media center for his pole winners interview. He was stopped when it was learned that the car had failed.
“Certainty it looks bad, none of us like that,” Miller said. “We hate telling that story, but we have to make sure that the car that qualified on the pole is legal and when its not that’s what happens.”
Perhaps one of the more surprising notes on the post qualifying inspection failures Saturday was that 5 of those failures were from the top 6.
“We thought this was really great when we only had three cars fail,” Miller said. “And now we don’t think it’s so great, the way we’re trying to report it because now we have this situation.”
“The cars that run up front, let’s face it are the high-profile cars,” Miller said. “We don’t like to see anybody have a problem, but obviously when it’s at the front end of the field the story gets bigger.”
“This is only the second time we’ve done this and I don’t think the teams want to be sitting here in this situation either,” he said. “I think they tested out the waters and it didn’t turn out to good for them today so hopefully the next time we have one of these inspections they’ll be able to get closer to right and we won’t have this. “
“The fans are certainly disappointed we’re disappointed, but the teams have to get it right,” Miller said. “(But)fans are going to be disappointed if his guy finished second and the car that was on the pole was illegal.”