As teams looked to feel their cars out before Thursday’s Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races, six teams were forced to pull out their backup cars thanks to on-track incidents – the most since the Duels went to their current 150-mile format in 2005.
In the day’s first session, Clint Bowyer cut a tire and was hit from behind by David Reutimann, who was subsequently hit by Derrike Cope. In the second practice of the day Mike Bliss lost control of his No. 36 Chevrolet and collected Joey Logano. Jimmie Johnson suffered minimal damage in the incident, but it was enough to pull out the backup.
As a result, these six drivers will have to drop to the rear of the starting grid for their respective 150-mile qualifying race. Once they serve their penalty, though, there is no further effect on their starting positions for the 500 – in theory, they can still start has high as third for the event depending on their performance in the Duels.
To read more about how Thursday’s Gatorade Duel 150 races work, be sure to check out my column Dialing It In on Thursday.