Denny Hamlin qualified 19th for Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway but he started at the back of the field because of a cut tire discovered after qualifying.
So why was Hamlin penalized for something out of his control?
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained it Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“It’s a really tough break, and it’s one of those things where there’s really not a great solution,’’ O’Donnell said. “If something happens to a tire while you’ve started qualifying … you cut a tire, you are forced to start in the back. The reason for that is we worked with the race teams and they said ‘Don’t tempt us,’ and by that I mean, ‘I won the pole, and I’m going to go out there and flat spot a tire and now I’m on the pole and now you need to give me new tires.’ It’s a balance for us to be able to police it. It’s unfortunate. It doesn’t happen often. Denny had to go to the back. It happened to two cars in the Xfinity Series as well.’’
Section 188.8.131.52.e of the NASCAR Cup Rule Book states that “unless otherwise stated or authorized by the Series Managing Director, the tires used during Qualifying must be used to start the Race.”
Section 184.108.40.206.h of the NASCAR Cup Rule Book includes a chart that notes should a damaged tire be replaced after qualifying, teams can replace it with a scuff but must start at the rear of the field unless Goodyear confirms a manufacturing abnormality with that tire.
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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.
Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.
Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.
You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.
It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.
On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.
Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.
When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.
Check out the video above.
Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,
One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.
Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.
In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.
It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.
Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.
Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.