NASCAR putting procedures in place to avoid ‘unacceptable’ mistake

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NASCAR will put additional procedures in place this weekend to avoid repeating the mistake series officials made in making Jimmie Johnson start at the rear of Sunday’s race, Steve O’Donnell told “The Morning Drive” on Monday.

NASCAR sent Johnson to the rear before the start of the race because it incorrectly noted that Johnson’s car failed inspection three times Sunday. Johnson’s car passed on its third attempt and should have been allowed to start in his original spot.

O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, called the mistake “unacceptable.” Series officials met with Hendrick Motorsports personnel, which included crew chief Chad Knaus and Jeff Gordon, after the race and apologized.

“We’ll certainly put procedures in place prior to Phoenix to ensure that just can’t happen going forward,” O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It was one of those things, again, a human error that we’ve really got to look at and look at some additional procedures we can have in place prior to Phoenix. We’ll have those done today, and we’ll be communicating those first and foremast to the team that was affected and then to the industry as well.”

Among the changes O’Donnell said would be in “the number of people that confirm a call prior to the race. Once the race started, we’re in trouble. It’s plain and simple.”