Inspection issues cause several drivers to miss Kansas qualifying

Qualifying at Kansas Speedway proved to be more of a challenge in inspection than on the race track on Friday.

Inspection issues cause several drivers to miss Kansas qualifying

Less than half the field was on pit road ready for time trials when the initial clock started for the first round at 5:45 p.m., central time.

NASCAR disappointed 

Only 28 drivers would make attempts during the 20-minute segment while the remaining 11 cars failed to pass pre-qualifying inspection.

“It’s fairly disappointing that they can’t present their cars to pass inspection,” NASCAR vice president of competition Scott Miller told Motor Racing Network. “We had plenty of cars that did not pass the LIS station (Laser Inspection Station). What we measure there is a big performance metric, and everybody pushes the limit.

“They obviously pushed the limit a little too much today, and a lot of cars didn’t pass. There were 28 cars that did pass inspection, so it’s certainly possible to get it right. It’s the LIS, where we measure the rear steer of the car, which is a big performance metric. It’s something that everybody pushes to try to get right to the limit. They want to be right on the limit, and obviously, 11 of them were over the limit.”

Hendrick hit the hardest

Hendrick Motorsports took the biggest hit with three of its Chevys never leaving the garage for the GoBowling.com 400 qualifying session — including three-time Kansas Speedway winner Jimmie Johnson. He’ll start 29th on Saturday.

“A lot of cars didn’t get a chance to go out and a lot of cars had trouble,” Johnson said. “So, I don’t know what lies in all of that, but I’m not the best at qualifying anyway, so this takes all the pressure off of me (laughs) and my job at what I do behind the wheel. And I love passing race cars.

“I was really happy with our car. We actually had some short run speed and some q-speed today, so I’m disappointed we didn’t get a chance to go out and take my Lowe’s car for a rip, but I love passing cars and there’s a lot of them on this race track. So, we’ll be fine.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was ninth in Happy Hour and first in Best 10 Lap Consecutive Averages in first practice, was equally bummed out. He’ll start 33rd

“We had a pretty good car in practice, had good speed and it’s a pretty long race,” Earnhardt said. “I think it will take us some time, but we can certainly make our way up through there and get a great finish. The car has great speed. 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 is the way everybody feels that didn’t get through it’s like they don’t understand what is going on, but it definitely would have been nice to start a little closer to the front and make it a little bit easier on us, but we will have to do our best when the race starts to try to be aggressive and get as many as we can on the early restarts.”

Chase Elliott, the only Hendrick car to qualify, was 10th.

“I thought it (the No. 24 Chevrolet SS) was pretty decent in race trim,” Elliott said. “We waited too long to go (in qualifying) and put ourselves in a box.”

 
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