Before NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying began at Talladega Superspeedway, inspection issues occurred for Hellman’s 500 pole winner Martin Truex Jr.
During inspection, NASCAR saw fit to confiscation parts from Martin Truex Jr.’s team before inspection began. NASCAR confiscated the jack screws from the No. 78 Toyota. Cole Pearn went to Twitter after the news broke to explain the situation. “A 5.5" LF jackscrew was replaced for a 8" that was mistakenly recessed to where a 5.5" is. Common sense/CG doesn't matter at a superspeedway,” said Pearn.
The story broke after a report by Motorsport.com. Pearn also tweeted, “Perhaps some fact checking should be done before releasing stories like this. It’s called journalism.” However, the tweet was deleted shortly after.
While qualifying was taking place, NASCAR sent back the teams of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth. The drivers were about to qualify when NASCAR saw something “unusual”, and sent them back to be re-inspected. All drivers were able to pass inspection and beat the five minute clock imposed by NASCAR for jumping out of the qualifying line.
NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller addressed the media shortly after qualifying was complete.
When asked about Trull’s situation, Miller stated, “It’s not a real competitive advantage. What we will do with that one is take it back to the R&D Center and go through our normal processes like we do. Analyze everything and decide what we are going to do.”
Miller stated that it was “unlikely” to see a penalty for the No. 78 team. “It has to go through our process. We don’t technically do that on the weekend. Because it is the playoffs, everyone has a heightened sense of everything, but this is no different than things we’ve done all year. We will treat this one like we do all year long,” stated Miller.
“It’s no different than the JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars that failed the templates and had to go through. It’s our job to officiate the sport and make sure everything is right,” said Miller.
Miller accredited the processes NASCAR has in place stating, “Today’s activities are no different than we do every weekend.”
On the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, Miller stated, “That has happened before when our inspectors suspect something was manipulated after inspection was over. Before we have pulled cars off the grid and sent them back to inspection and rectified the problem.
Miller stated that the problem was not “big”, but that it had to be fair for everybody.