KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Inspection issues seen on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series side of the garage area multiple times this season made their way over to the NASCAR XFINITY Series field on Saturday morning as Coors Light Pole Qualifying kicked off at the 1.5-mile oval.
More than half the field – 24 cars, to be exact – had to go through the inspection line more than once, including Chase contenders Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Reed, Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch and Justin Allgaier.
That meant that when qualifying began, there were less than 24 cars on pit road and only 14 cars that had taken time through the first seven minutes of the round, led by Cup regular Austin Dillon.
“We have a lot of people pushing the envelope on the templates,” explained Scott Miller, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition. “We’ve seen it on the Cup side, but these guys haven’t really been in this predicament before now. The templates haven’t changed, the inspection process hasn’t changed … but it appears the cars have changed and these guys are pushing the limits for the Chase.”
Despite the large number of cars that were not on pit road when the first round of qualifying began, Miller said there was never a consideration of delaying the start of qualifying to get everyone through – specifically because all 40 cars had at been through the line at least once during pre-qualifying inspection.
“These guys are going to have to learn that the cars have to be right when they present them for technical inspection. The time frame is the time frame, and we have a schedule that we have to adhere to. We can’t be altering the schedule for their cars not being right.”
A caution with 13 minutes to go in the opening round, for debris on the backstretch, aided in the process of getting cars through the line.
Ultimately, all eight Chase-eligible drivers were able to take at least one lap, all advancing through to the second round of qualifying.
Each of the 42 drivers on the property made a qualifying attempt, with Josh Wise and Morgan Shepherd failing to make the 40-car field.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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