KANSAS CITY, KS – Tech inspection issues reared their ugly head earlier this afternoon just minutes before the three-round qualifying session that set the grid for the 267-lap Go Bowling 400. As a result, a total of 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers failed to make a qualifying lap and will attempt to make a move from the back to the front during tomorrow night’s event.
The list of those starting in the rear include the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. David Ragan, Michael McDowell, Landon Cassill, Reed Sorenson, Corey LaJoie, Timmy Hill and Carl Long also were among those who did not put a lap on the board.
After the qualifying session had concluded, here is what just a few of them had to say:
Johnson: “A lot of cars didn’t get the chance to go out and a lot of cars had trouble. I don’t know what lies in all of that. I’m not the best at qualifying anyway, so this takes all the pressure off me and my job and what I do behind the wheel.”
Bowyer: “Super disappointing. You are off ten-thousandths of an inch. Most people can’t understand how little that is. If you are off, you are off, but I watched my guys move the car and adjust the car accordingly for it and then actually overcompensate on it because we were worried about not making it. Then they wheel it back in and fail the exact same amount? Twice? That makes no sense. None.”
Earnhardt Jr: “The guys are certainly disappointed about not being able to get through tech because we felt like we should have been able to pass and we actually ran the car through right after practice and everything was good. I don’t know why it failed but I’m sure that’s the way everyone feels about not getting through. It’s like they don’t understand what is going on. We will have to do our best when the race starts to try to be aggressive and get as many (spots) as we can on the restarts.”
Ragan: “I don’t get paid to figure out what happens in that room. I think just my honest opinion on why it is so hard for these cars to get through tech is this. I think in our case and in a lot of other teams’ cases, they push the margins to the end, to the illegal point, and even though you may fail by a tenth of a degree or a couple thousandths of an inch, you are still playing with that wiggle room that NASCAR gives you. There are a lot of small inconsistencies when you are measuring thousandths of an inch. The only thing I am not too sure about is how so many cars cannot get through. Everybody is not trying to cheat on the same thing.”