By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR is cracking down on teams slowing down the inspection process, and as a result, four drivers will have their practice times cut short at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend as a result of inspection issues the previous weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Speedway.
NASCAR’s crackdown began with a memo sent to teams on April 23, warning of actions the sanctioning body would take to discourage teams from failing inspections.
“Based on the data that we have collected thus far in 2015, we have identified several trends,” the memo from Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck said. “One trend, in particular, highlights the failure rate during inspections.”
Included among those is reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. He, along with Matt DiBenedetto, Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman each will have their practices cut 15 minutes short.
The cars of Harvick and DiBenedetto were presented late for pre-race inspection at Richmond. Almirola’s car showed up late for qualifying inspection at Richmond. Bowman’s car failed qualifying inspection more than three times at RIR, and as a result, the Tommy Baldwin Racing team received a written warning and lost 15 minutes of practice time.
Cars driven by Josh Wise and Joey Gase at Richmond failed qualifying inspection twice apiece, resulting in written warnings for their race teams.
If teams receive written warning during two-consecutive race weekends, a P1 penalty may be handed down by NASCAR. Those penalties could include last pit selection, reduced practice time, reduced qualifying time, less desired spot in inspection order.
The No. 32 car driven by Joey Gase at Richmond will be piloted by Bobby Labonte at Talladega.
Here is a list of the inspection rules highlighted in the memo, as reported by NBC Sports:
• All cars must pass initial inspection and receive a final sticker to be eligible to practice.
• Cars that fail qualifying inspection twice will receive a written warning.
• Cars that fail qualifying inspection three times also will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at the next event.
• Cars that fail prerace inspection twice will receive a written warning.
• Cars that fail prerace inspection three times also will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at the next event.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like us on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.