Not to defend NASCAR again, but…

Some of you are putting me in a really uncomfortable position again: Having to defend NASCAR.

It’s more natural for me to torch NASCAR for making a bad call instead of vouching for The Man, but damn — this silliness over blaming NASCAR for cars failing inspection makes no sense!

The Nos. 42, 24, 18, 5, 77, 88, 37, 51 and 55 teams didn’t get through inspection in time to qualify at Texas. Do you know whose fault that is? The answer is the Nos. 42, 24, 18, 5, 77, 88, 37, 51 and 55 teams.

Yes, NASCAR changed the rules this season, but they’ve been the same all year. If a team fails one of the four inspection stations, they have to go through each one again (whereas in the past, teams could pull out of line, fix what was wrong on the car and jump back in line for that one station).

One reason is NASCAR wanted to cut down on all the inspection games. Officials are pushing teams to bring legal cars that pass tech on the first try — or else face the consequences.


That brings us to Friday. Like every week, each team had three hours to get through inspection before qualifying, and they all had the chance to go through the stations at least once before the clock really started ticking on their chances of making a lap.

And you know what? A bunch of them didn’t make it. In all likelihood, they were testing the limits (if they don’t, they’d be giving up a competitive advantage to those who do) and just went a little too far. They ran out of time and didn’t make a lap.

“We don’t feel good about anybody missing qualifying, but it is something that happens when teams are pushing the envelope,” said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president for officiating and technical inspection. “Teams know our expectations and every team was afforded the opportunity to go through inspection. Some needed multiple tries and some weren’t able to get their cars ready in time to qualify. “

Hey, that’s fine; I don’t have a problem with teams trying everything they can. They take a risk when doing so, but that’s up to them.

But for crying out loud, don’t then get mad at NASCAR for your favorite driver failing inspection!

Seriously, come on. NASCAR is trying to cut down on all the little tricks teams are doing to bend the rules, and we’re going to act like that’s a bad thing?

Admittedly, I’m a stickler for rules. Those who follow the rules shouldn’t be at a disadvantage to those who don’t, just like those who bend the rules shouldn’t expect sympathy if they get caught.

As Dale Earnhardt Jr. told PRN: “It’s the same for everyone.”

Kevin Harvick said everyone in the garage was supportive of a tighter inspection as long as some rule-bending doesn’t start slipping through the cracks.

“NASCAR’s been pretty clear on where the progression of the inspection process was going to go,” polesitter Kevin Harvick said. “As long as it’s consistent and the process is the same all year, I don’t think anybody will have a problem with it.”

29 Replies to “Not to defend NASCAR again, but…”

  1. Your completely right ,,, on all of that . But ,,, I’m sure some will always find away too complain about NASCAR procedures. Ugh !!!!????????

  2. I don’t see the problem. The teams are well aware of the time and consequences, and have been before the season started. If they don’t pass, it’s on them.

  3. I agree with u. All teams know it and are pushing it to the limit so u have to pay the price even my beloved4️⃣8️⃣

  4. I agree with you, Jeff. I also have a question. Is there any rule that says cars that fail inspection cannot have sticker tires to start the race?

    It may not matter at a repave like Texas, but somewhere that tire wear is an issue, it might make somewhat of a difference against having to start in the back.

  5. I would like to know why NASCAR wouldn’t let the 4 team replace the trackbar piece that didn’t meet their requirements or standards as a part a couple of weeks ago after it had passed all the inspection stations all weekend. I don’t understand how something like this can slip through, causing Rodney to be suspended when it could have been rectified by changing the part, penalizing them by last pit selection, or missing 10mins of practice or even starting at the tail end at the start of the race. I would like to see penalties be distributed more at the track at the time of the infraction, and if needed, fine them on Wednesday, not put i. To effect the next week.

    1. The issue on the 4 car was not found until it was checked at the R&D center. There was no opportunity to penalize them at the racetrack.

    2. That is an excellent point. If the unapproved part was on the car prior to qualifying inspection how come they were not allowed to remove and replace. LOVE to hear the answer to that.

      1. They don’t check every nut and bolt at the track in inspection…that’s unrealistic and too time consuming. That’s why the winner, 2nd place, and one random car are taken back to Concord to the R&D center every week for a complete tear down. The violation on Harvick’s car was found during that tear down at the R&D center. That’s why you can pass inspection at the track and later be found to be in violation of the rules, not the first or last time it will happen.

        1. Thank you. Makes sense. Possibly Trac bar mechanism that was unapproved not that visible.

  6. Points penalty for no qualifying attempt because of inspection failure? Obviously not if it is a result of wreck in practice. Would be incentive to pass inspection.

  7. In reality 10 teams (9 + JJ) or 25 percent of the field gets to start the race on sticker tires. Should make coming through the field easier for some teams.
    Should make the 1st segment interesting.

  8. I just wish that the cars weren’t so incredibly regulated. I’ve worked in metrology for a while in my life, and I know how critical dimensions can be for all sorts of applications, but for racing, I just am not sold. If you can find a way to make your car faster, you should be able to. Put that mechanical engineering degree to good use. But if you want to take nascar out of the hands of the money and the geeks like me, than take us back to a schedule that favors short track racing. My point is, inspections should even be that big of a process to begin with.

  9. You tell’em Jeff! ???? And yes I have some dogs in the fight (88-24-42-77). Especially Jr. & Chase and we all know Jr. needs some good things to fall his way.????

  10. Crapola. I thought that I had a good argument about gaming the system, but as I was typing it, I thought it through a little more and shot myself down. They still have practice to go through, so fresh tires wouldn’t matter. Either way, “It’s a long race.”

  11. I disagree completely…and no one of my drivers that I like was not one of the ones that did not make it on time.

  12. I don’t believe there should be as many rules and tolerances issues.
    BUT since the are SAME FOR EVERYONE. kudos NASCAR!!!!
    #go kyle 18

  13. These teams will find more and more excuses not to have to qualify, just like Johnson did a couple weeks ago. Nascar is always trying to save the teams money. Let’s eliminate qualifying and begin the races based on owners points. The teams can show up on Saturday, practice for an hour, and race Sunday. The drivers won’t have to put in any effort to qualify. Pit boxes will be drawn.

  14. It only hurts a little while let’s move on everyone knows the deal.If they don’t then they don’t need to qualify .May be your driver next time ????✌

  15. It’s time they cracked down on cheaters. I’m all for the rule change. Make them legal or park them.

  16. Of. Course you are going defend NASCAR. You don’t want to loose. Your NASCAR Hard card

    1. The issue is not that teams didnt make it thru, the issue is Dale Earnhardt Jr didnt make it thru and he as some believe gets a pass by NASCAR which is not true.

      But I do agree with Kenny, some of the NASCAR press along with those on the broadcast and radio tend to toe the line to keep a NASCAR hard card.

  17. What difference does,it make..they miss a opportunity to qualify but the biggest penalty is pit selection…Larson seemed to be the only one concerned about coming from the rear.use to be if you did not qualify you did not race.. or at least you were worried if you were gonna race, now those teams in the back don’t even worry about making the race..they ride around teams that miss go to the rear..penalize a team for pushing it and watch what was crooked get straightened out ..going to the rear isn’t enough..take a couple of points or a 1 lap penalty at the drop of the green with no free pass..see if the Penskes ,or Hendrick or Gibbs get their act together other wise they just keep playing games.

  18. A points penalty would go a long way in eliminating the qualifying fiasco.

    Fail on the first attempt to pass inspection, a two point penalty. Fail on the second attempt, a five point penalty. Fail on the third attempt, and it’s three strikes you’re out.

    Until NASCAR gets serious with the consequences of failing inspection, things will continue as they are.

    NASCAR may not be to blame for the way the cars are built, but until the consequences of failing inspection become more harsh, nothing will change.

    Ultimately, it does fall on NASCAR to “encourage” the teams to get their acts together. As things stand, the risks are worth the rewards of gaining an advantage.

    I believe it was Dave Moody who said that none of the inspection failures were things that would make the car slower.

    That sums it up quite nicely.

  19. Lol..does anybody still care. I am glad the Indycar and F1 seasons just kicked into gear. I am so done with the Nascar powers that be trying to convince fans all is good… it’s not….It’ gotten boring as hell…with only 5 team owners and oh let’s say 10 drivers having a genuine shot at winning it all. The new 3 stage shit is oh so artificial it isn’t even funny. Like.hey guys..we gotta give those bottom teams also a chance to race for Nascar’s just one big family now, with one purpose keep it going and milk it as much as they can…that’s all. And I am now at a point where I feel like I am watching a marketing event with some racing in between. So are attendance drops and ratings drops a fact. YES NASCAR , they ARE. Oh btw..where is the stock in this whole thing. Stop trying to be the F1 of stockcar racing…you’ll get fans back.

  20. BTW…if it wasn’t for all the “stages”…rules…”debris cautions” and what have ya…80 percent of races the top 3 cars at any given race might put the whole field 10 laps down… exciting 🙂

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