I never liked Group Qualifying in NASCAR. Here’s a good example of why.
Several teams couldn’t make it through tech before the qualifying time limit of 5 minutes was up. They had to use owner points from last year to make the race. Here’s what some of them had to say.
- Gordon talks about not being able to qualify at AMS: #24-Jeff Gordon, who was going for his third consecutive pole [Homestead, Daytona], did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn’t get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.
Q) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT THE RACE TRACK AND NOT BE ABLE TO QUALIFY?
Gordon: “First time ever. There’s a first time for everything, I guess. This is absolutely embarrassing. I just feel so bad for my guys and for 3M. To not even get a chance to go out on the race track is ridiculous. I know the fans deserve an apology. I don’t know how many cars there must be back here (the garage) that never even got a chance to go on the track. I know we went through twice. When you have this many…..I’ve seen five or six or even 10 cars that have issues going through (tech) with certain little things. But this many cars that didn’t go; that’s not on these teams. And they deserve better than this. I can’t believe how disappointing this is. I assume I made the race; I mean, who knows what even happened with the points and what’s going on? There are guys that don’t have the points that are going home that never even got a chance to even get out there. It’s a big letdown for me and for our series, right now, that this happened. There is no way that this should ever happen.”
Gordon: “There is something wrong. Or there is something wrong with the system. Or there is something wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through. There is no way this many good cars, talented people that they can’t figure out how to get these cars through inspection. These guys are too smart. Yes we are pushing limits, but there is something wrong here. I’m embarrassed; I’m embarrassed for our series right now that this just happened. I’m really upset for my sponsor 3M that just came on for this weekend where we didn’t even get a chance to qualify. We are just fortunate – I’m assuming we aren’t going home because of points from last year. I know there are a lot of teams out here that aren’t going to be that fortunate. I hate it for these guys that work so hard. We were excited about qualifying today. I thought we had a great shot at being up front. This is absolutely ridiculous.”(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)
- Kenseth discusses not being able to qualify at AMS: #20-Matt Kenseth did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn’t get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt, a few comments by Kenseth
What caused the issues with tech inspection?
Kenseth: “Yeah, I don’t know. Obviously, they weren’t organized enough to get everybody through tech it appears, so I don’t know. We’ve got all the people up there to watch qualifying and they don’t really get top watch everybody qualify, so it’s kind of confusing and disappointing for sure.”
Are you upset to start in the rear of the field?
Kenseth: “It’s better than not starting. I feel bad for whoever didn’t get through there and didn’t make the race. I’m glad they’re still on last year’s points instead of this year’s points or probably we wouldn’t have made the race either, so I’m not really sure what the issue was, but when I walked up 10 minutes before qualifying was scheduled to start and it was only 14 cars on pit road, so I have a hard time believing it was the teams.”
Do you know why this happened?
Kenseth: “I don’t really know. I’m not educated enough on that to give you a good answer. I think you’d have to ask Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) or somebody there. I don’t really know. I don’t typically go with the car through inspections, so I don’t know.”(Toyota Racing)(2-28-2015)