One of the issues that has plagued NASCAR in 2017 is pre-qualifying inspection. Coming out of Dover, NASCAR seems to have a way to encourage drivers and teams to get their cars through inspection and make it to qualifying.
Pre-qualifying inspection has become a topic of conversation during the 2017 NASCAR season. There have been a few instances this season in which cars have not been able to run qualifying laps because their cars did not make it through pre-qualifying inspection in a timely manner. As NASCAR continues to monitor the trend, they appear to have come up with a punishment to encourage teams to make sure they are indeed getting through inspection.
Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, spoke on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the matter. Miller alluded to NASCAR potentially taking race tires away from teams.
If we continue to have problems, there’s the potential to add more penalties, take tires away, do several different things to kind of make it more painful for the teams not to qualify. We don’t really want to have to do that, but we do have some things in our back pocket in case we continue to struggle.
It’s worth noting that there could be a bit of an advantage for a driver who doesn’t make a qualifying run. Sure, said driver will have to start in the back of the field, but said driver will also start the race on new tires. In 2017, drivers start the race on the tires that they qualified in. Should a driver not make an attempt to qualify, they would be starting the race on fresher tires than the rest of the field.
Aside from whatever small advantage fresh tires might offer, there really isn’t any reason teams shouldn’t be qualifying. A car that doesn’t make it to qualifying is a car that most likely failed inspection multiple times. NASCAR makes sure that all cars have the chance to pass through inspection in a timely manner. It’s the cars that keep pushing the proverbial envelope (and fail inspection) that are having to go through multiple times, and occasionally miss qualifying as a result.
Moving forward, if teams keep pushing, they might be losing some race tires as a result.