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NASCAR makes right call on Martinsville Speedway qualifying inspection

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 04: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, goes through inspection prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Monday, NASCAR announced a tweak in its inspection schedule for the upcoming Martinsville (Va.) Speedway race weekend that will culminate in Sunday’s running of the STP 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and I applaud the change.

In case you haven’t heard, qualifying inspection will be held post-qualifying, instead of the traditional pre-qualifying. Cars failing that post-qualifying inspection will have their qualifying times disallowed, and as a result, start the race in the back.

If more than 40 cars ever show up for a race again, this new inspection scheduling could result in a HUGE penalty for some team trying to sneak something through, if it’s caught.

Good call, NASCAR. That will, definitely, cut out the trip-after-trip through inspection. One time through, and you fail, you obviously weren’t legal when you qualified, so start the race in the back. Sounds pretty cut and dry, doesn’t it? It also eliminates the supposed strategy of intentional failed pre-qualifying inspections to intentionally miss qualifying and start the race on new tires, as was speculated to be a strategy in play last weekend at Auto Club Speedway when 13 of 37 entrants failed to make qualifying runs after inspection issues.

I’m hoping NASCAR goes this route from here on out.

At Martinsville, that post-qualifying inspection will also count as the pre-race inspection, as cars are going to be impounded between qualifying and racing this weekend, anyway. Of course, I don’t think that “kill-two-birds-with-one-stone” inspection will work on race weekends when cars aren’t impounded, because teams will be working on cars between qualifying and racing. Heck, they usually have a practice or two between qualifying and the race.

Still, I’m all for the qualifying inspection being post as opposed to pre. Another plus — eliminating the possibility of cars not making qualifying laps as a result of pre-qualifying inspection issues eliminates the chance of the inadvertent reward of bad behavior in the form of new tires at the start of races (cars not qualifying starting in the back on new tires).

What do you know? This idea really does kill two birds with one stone. What is it with me and that saying today? Anyway, it looks good, at least on paper, at least today.

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Posted by on March 20, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,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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