NASCAR took the splitter from the cars of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski during inspection before Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, but Logano’s crew chief downplayed the incident.
NASCAR spokesperson Kristi King told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “During the inspection process this morning, we saw a situation with the 2 and the 22 with the splitter. We saw it and it was really, really close (to compliance). Because it was so close, we work with the team, and just to be on the safe side, we asked them to change it out and just to go to a clean splitter for the race and they did. We do have the part that we will take back to the R&D Center. We’ll take a look at it the first of the week like we always do and go from there.”
During a prerace interview on NBCSN, Brad Keselowski downplayed the incident.
“It’s just a rules change with NASCAR,” Keselowski said. “They used to make you change them before (inspection), now they make the decision (during inspection). There’s been guys changing them every week. For some reason, it didn’t get reported unil this week, when both of our cars had to change them.”
Keselowski said there is an advantage to starting the race on a splitter with wear.
“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “You like to start on a worn-in splitter because the cars drag the track. When they’re worn in, they don’t drag quite as hard. After the first 30 to 40 laps, that all resets. Maybe a little (of an edge) at the start of the race but not a big deal.”
Todd Gordon, crew chief for Logano, explained what happened to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “(The splitters) wear in practice. Where we worn to and how we cleaned it up, they just didn’t like the splitters on. We put on a new one. It’s no big deal. It’s kind of a standard operating procedure. We don’t have officials come around and check them ahead of time. Used to do that. They didn’t like the way it looked. So pulled it off and put a new on.”
Gordon told SiriusXM NASCAR that the team typically brings five splitters to the track.
“You wear it,” Gordon said. “After every run at the racetrack, it’s a meltable material, so it kind of builds up on the bottom and you clean them up. We cleaned it up and it was a little thin and they didn’t like what they saw. It’s no big deal. We’ll be fine. Lap 2 it will be the same splitter that was on there previously.”