Friday at Auto Club Speedway, pre-qualifying inspection issues hit 13 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars. It took just three days for the outcry to turn toward the sanctioning body making serious changes to NASCAR inspection.
Series officials announced Monday they’ll be adjusting the MENCS inspection process ahead of this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller told SiriusXM Radio Monday changes were needed.
Now, post-qualifying and pre-race inspection are going to be lumped into one major inspection. That’s a big adjustment from the multiple times teams have to drag their car through tech over the course of a race weekend.
It’s a starting point, NASCAR claims, to potentially shortening the process even further. “We are looking to that as a way forward,” Miller added. “It would be really good if we could get it down to one major inspection for the weekend.”
All 13 teams who failed pre-qualifying inspection Friday afternoon were forced to the rear of the field at Fontana. However, NASCAR let teams who made a qualifying lap purchase an extra set of Goodyears. That nullified any advantage for those who missed qualifying just to keep brand new sticker tires on their car.
No further penalties were handed out after inspection. However, NASCAR announced before Saturday’s XFINITY Series event teams who failed pre-qualifying inspection would be required to do a pass-through penalty at the beginning of the race itself. It’s widely expected this rule change will make its way to both the MENCS and Camping World Truck Series beginning with this weekend’s races at Martinsville.