Inspection delays keep cars off track for Atlanta qualifying

Inspection issues prevented 13 drivers from getting their cars on the track Friday night to make qualifying attempts for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.

Among the cars who were failed to take a lap were former Sprint Cup champions Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano won the pole for the second race of the season with a lap of 194.683 mph.

NASCAR delayed the start of qualifying for 15 minutes after technical problems, apparently with the rear camber area, led to many cars going through inspection twice. Still, 13 cars did not make it through in time.

"They (NASCAR) should have recognized they had an issue," Gordon said. "When you have this many teams that are having issues going through (inspection), there's something wrong. There's something wrong with their system or there's something wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through.

"There is no way this many good cars, talented people, that they can't figure out how to get these cars through inspection. Yeah, we're pushing limits, but there's something wrong here. I'm embarrassed for our series right now that this just happened."

All 34 cars that made qualifying attempts secured spots in the field. The remaining nine places were awarded on 2014 owner points.

Michael Annett, Mike Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto and Reed Sorenson never ran a lap and did not qualify.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said every car passed through inspection at least once and 20 teams two times. Part of the problem, he added, was teams waiting until the last minute for inspection.

"Their job is to push it to that very limit," Buck said. "Our job is to treat everybody fairly and give everybody an opportunity to come through that inspection room. But their responsibility is to come through there right but to the limit. I think that's what you saw today, was everybody pushing the limits."

Kenseth and Stewart will both be in the race field but were clearly not pleased with the outcome of qualifying.

"I don't know what to say about today. Spent all of our practice working on qualifying. Didn't even get a chance to make a lap. Frustrating!" Stewart tweeted.

Kenseth said, "They should really figure out how to get everybody through tech before qualifying starts, first of all. If they can't do that, they probably should have just postponed qualifying before they could get everybody through tech when there's that many cars. It obviously was not a team, two teams or five teams or 10 teams trying to get away with something. ...

"You have all those people up there (in the stands) to watch qualifying and don't really get to watch everybody qualify. It's kind of confusing and disappointing for sure. I feel bad for whoever didn't get through there and didn't make the race.

Speedway Digest Staff

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