NASCAR Cup: race-winning car flunks inspection at Chicagoland
By AMANDA VINCENT
The race-winning No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr., the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch failed in initial passes through the laser inspection station at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, the first of 10 races that make up the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Busch’s car passed a second time through, while Truex and Johnson’s cars failed both times through. As a result of passing the second time through, neither Busch nor his team will not be penalized.
The No. 78 failed post-race laser inspection for the second-straight week.
“The right-rear of our car was well within the tolerance margin, which showed that we were trying to be conservative; however, the left rear wheel alignment was off by approximately ten-thousandths of an inch, which in high probability was due to damage in that area as a result of being hit by the No. 4 car (Kevin Harvick), Furniture Row Racing President Joe Garone said in a written statement released by the race team. “We believe the laser inspection numbers were correct and accept NASCAR’s decision that was made following Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.”
NASCAR recently announced that its officials have the option of stripping benefits of a Chase race win if a team garners a P4 penalty in post-race laser inspection. But Truex and Johnson’s teams’ penalties were reported to be minor enough to just warrant a P2 penalty — likely a points deduction and fine for their respective crew chiefs. Penalties, if there are any, likely will be announced on Wednesday.
Truex’s win came after 32 laps led. Johnson was credited with most laps led, running up front for 118 laps.
The race-winning car, along with the second-place No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Joey Logano and the third-place No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott will be transported to the NASCAR Research and Develolpment Center in Concord, N.C., for a more thorough inspection. R&D inspections of the top-two cars and another chosen at random are routine. Elliott’s car was the random car selected at Chicagoland.
Elliott was second to Johnson in laps-led, running up front for 75 laps.