By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR officials detectected issues with three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars — The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. and two of the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets (the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick and the No. 14 being driven by Brian Vickers in place of the injured Tony Stewart) — at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Sunday, Daytona 500 front-row qualifying day.
On the No. 78 car, NASCAR officials deemed a roof flap too high. The issue was discovered before the car made a qualifying lap. The No. 78 Toyota was moved out of line and pushed to the garage so that the problem could be remedied. The issue couldn’t be remedied before a five-minute clock expired, so Truex failed to post a lap time and will start in the back of one of the Can-Am Duel races on Thursday. The No. 78 team is one of the 36 teams receiving initial charters from NASCAR last week, so it is guaranteed a starting spot in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21.
Harvick and Vickers both made qualifying attempts, but their times were disallowed, also putting them in the back of the starting field for the Can-Am Duel. After qualifying, the track bars on both the No. 4 and No. 14 were found to not be in compliance with NASCAR specifications. Both also received NASCAR charters last week, and as a result, are guaranteed starting position sfor the Daytona 500.
Rodney Childers, crew chief on the No. 4 team, tweeted responses to NASCAR officials’ finidings:
“We will have to start in the rear of our 150.. We measured our TB in a different spot than they did and ended up with 1/4″ too much rake.” — @RodneyChilders4
Penalties are possible for all three teams. If penalties are handed down, an announcement of such will come later in the week.
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