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NASCAR Cup: tire rule modified for Auto Club 400

JOLIET, IL – AUGUST 23: A group of tires sit near the garage during testing at Chicagoland Speedway on August 23, 2016 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/NASCAR via Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After 13 of the 37 entries for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., failed to get through pre-qualifying inspection in time to make laps in qualifying on Friday, NASCAR modified its tire rule for Sunday’s race.

The 24 teams that made qualifying attempts on Friday will be allowed to buy a new set of tires on which to start Sunday’s race. They will, though, be required to turn in their qualifying tires to Goodyear, without making laps on them in either of Saturday’s scheduled practice sessions.

Normally, teams that don’t make qualifying attempts start in the back on new tires, while those who made laps in qualifying start races with the tires on which they qualify. The newer tires aren’t necessarily at advantage at short or narrow tracks, but on the wide Auto Club Speedway, the cars on new tires would have an advantage, as the track’s old surface wears tires quickly, giving new tires high value. And the wide racing groove allows for passing to make the trip from the back to front easier than at several other tracks on the circuit.

“It’ll be interesting to start the race. You’ve got all the cars with penalties all on brand-new tires, so you’re penalized because you’re out here and went through tech and qualified good at the start of the race, so we’ll have to manage through that,” 10th-place qualifier Kevin Harvick said, prior to NASCAR’s announcement of allowing those who qualified to start on new tires.

Harvick’s Stewart-Haas teammates, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer, were among those who failed to make qualifying attempts on Friday, along with all four Hendrick Motorsports entries of Jimmie Johnson, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series also races at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, with qualifying for that race also scheduled for Saturday. In an attempt to prevent a similar issue in the Xfinity Series, NASCAR has announced that teams not making qualifying attempts will be issued a pass-through penalty right after the green flag to start the race.

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Posted by on March 17, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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