Auton Discusses Cancelling NXS Qualifying at Road America

Brett Moist/ NKPPhoto

by Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

In a visit with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive”, Wayne Auton, NASCAR XFINITY Series managing director, explained the decision to not qualify at Road America on Sunday morning.

Before qualifying began, NASCAR determined that teams would qualify under wet track conditions and to prepare accordingly. Per the NASCAR rulebook, Auton is exclusively given the task of determining whether to modify qualifying based on track conditions.

“We were sitting on wets. We watched the Trans-Am race yesterday morning that was before qualifying. We looked up. It’s raining and they’re kicking up rooster tails. Ok, let’s get to wet conditions. We can get at least one round of qualifying in, which we told the teams were going to do,” said Auton. “We were all set for wets. All of a sudden, it quits raining, the sun is shining as bright as it can be, part of the racetrack dry and part of the track wet. It just wasn’t comfortable conditions at which way do we go. I can tell you that we were begging for rain.”

NASCAR found themselves between a rock and a hard place when it came to the decision to cancel qualifying. Because of the track conditions around the 4.048-mile facility and the fact that 17 of the 40 drivers were rookies, Auton made the decision to postpone qualifying.

“We made the decision to not go qualifying. It’s one of those where you are in the middle. Part of the backstretch was still soaked. Part of the track on the frontstretch going into one down to five, they were all completely solid dry,” said Auton. “We had 17 rookies at Road America yesterday. A lot of them have never driven in the type conditions that were out there. No practice time in it. So we opted to do the right thing.”

As decisions by the sanctioning body come into question from time to time by teams, this decision was applauded.

“No really good decision is going to be made about it. We made the right decision and stick by it. The teams actually came by and about high-fived us all for making a decision to get ready to go racing so we could have a great race at Road America.”

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