Issues at inspection plague Charlotte qualifying

Matthew T. Thacker/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

CONCORD, N.C— In Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway, inspection issues once again plagued the qualifying session.

The No. 77 of Erik Jones was the only car unable to pass inspection during the 20 minute session. Many drivers were able to pass inspection in the closing moments of the session. Jones will suffer a practice penalty in the final 50 minute session of the weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it onto the track in within the final three minutes. He went to a backup car during the opening practice session of the weekend, only being able to run a handful of laps in the backup car. Like Jones, Earnhardt will have a 30 minute practice hold in final practice. Earnhardt will starts 23rd in Sunday’s Bank of America 500.

“We really didn’t get much time on the car in practice, so that first lap was a bit of a surprise.  We were on the splitter a little bit the first run. We bled the tires like we typically do. I think it got on the race track a little too hard that last lap and just knocked all the speed out of it.  But, we will get in here.  We just hadn’t been able to really science on this car any and see where the travels are, so it doesn’t surprise me it’s on the splitter a little bit.  So, we will get in the garage here and take a look at it and start planning for our practice tomorrow.  We had to go around a couple of times and failed the LIS over and over today, so we lost a lot of practice time tomorrow, so it’s going to be a tough weekend for us,” said Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson also experienced inspection issues before qualifying. He was able to get on track to qualify, but missed the second round. He will start in the 25th position.

“Multiple trips through the inspection line doesn’t help by any stretch and we just missed it. So, another frustrating Friday, unfortunately; and we’ll be back tomorrow and we’ll have to pass a bunch of cars on Sunday. It sucks starting the weekend behind like this, but it is what it is and we’re just going to have to go to work on Sunday,” said Johnson

Saturday’s schedule at Charlotte Motor Speedway will include a 50 minute session at 11 a.m ET. while final practice will be held at 1:30 pm ET. NBCSN will have the coverage of both practice sessions.

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