Inspection is complete at Richmond Raceway following Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400. There were no issues with the #19 of Martin Truex, Jr. He is the winner.
#20-Erik Jones failed post-race inspection and has been disqualified from his 4th place finish. He has been moved back to 38th in the results and faces a must-win situation at Charlotte to remain in the playoffs.
The #20 Toyota will be taken back to NASCAR R&D Center for further examination (but no additional penalties).
There were no loose lug nuts.
— NASCAR —
Media availability with Monster Energy Cup Series Directory Jay Fabian:
THE MODERATOR: We are now being joined by Jay Fabian, managing director of the Monster Energy Series. Jay, why don’t you just take us through what happened with the DQ with the 20.
JAY FABIAN: Yeah, so the 20, standard procedure post‑race in the playoffs, we run every car through the OSS and then we do a post‑race inspection on first, second, and then generally a random. The 20 car failed the OSS on the run‑through on the standard post‑race inspection.
What typically causes something like that?
JAY FABIAN: Any number of things. There’s fairly critical measurements on the rear wheel alignment that have to be followed, so there’s any number of things that the team could do or not do to make it fail. Standard process as a race, we give a pretty strong allowance on what they can run pre‑race to post‑race, and it’s crept out of that range.
Did you find any parts or pieces that shouldn’t be there that were designed to fail, and why is there a rule on rear tow or rear wheel steer? Why do you need to have a tolerance there?
JAY FABIAN: Yeah, so we didn’t find any parts. I didn’t look at the car other than to check the car as it’s in the rig, checked the equipment to make sure all the equipment was in order. So yeah, the team ‑‑ we didn’t see anything that was designed to fail. At the end of the day, the result is the same, it failed.
Rear wheel steer and alignment is important as a critical factor in downforce. It’s an aero benefit to get more skew in the rear, so we keep those parameters pretty tight so that everybody is racing with the same thing, and that’s the key to running all 16 cars through there. We just finished up probably 30 minutes ago, so it’s important to keep the playing field level and make sure all the playoff cars are the same and pass that thing.
Jay, this was the first instance we’ve had of disqualification on the Monster Energy Series side. With how crew chiefs are kind of trained to push tolerances and things like that, are you surprised it’s race 27, 28 now that we’ve had one of these?
JAY FABIAN: That’s a good question. We’ve set the standard early in the year in what we expect, and teams have done a good job reacting to that. I think obviously as the pressure mounts and the season goes on, it doesn’t surprise me to see them pushing a little further and trying to get a little more out of their stuff, and like I say, sometimes it just crosses that line a little bit, and that’s all you need to fail.
Can you say how far off they were?
JAY FABIAN: No, it’s a pass/fail.
— NASCAR —