NASCAR exec: 13 cars failing inspection 'is not a great story'
In a bizarre scene Friday at Auto Club Speedway, 13 of the 37 cars on the entry list failed their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup prequalifying inspection.
While that puzzled and maybe amused some fans, NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller had a different reaction.
"The big issue is the cars aren't legal," Miller said (via ESPN). "That's really where the issue starts. ... It 100 percent frustrates me. We're in the business of putting on a show for everybody that watches our sport, and this is not a great story."
The cars in question for the most part failed the optical scanning inspection NASCAR introduced this year to check for body compliance. Those drivers will now line up at the rear of the field for Sunday's race ranked by points. Denny Hamlin will start 25th, followed by Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Timmy Hill, Ross Chastain and Cole Whitt.
The qualifying issue forced NASCAR to tweak a rule for Sunday's race. Because those 13 cars did not run qualifying Friday, they would have had an unfair advantage starting Sunday's race on fresh tires. NASCAR announced late Friday that the other 24 teams would be allowed to start the race on sticker tires.
Coverage of the Auto Club 400 starts at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday on Fox.