Adam Stevens says the reason his driver Kyle Busch had to come from 28th to win at Pocono Raceway was because of an oversight on his part.
Busch had qualified his No. 18 Toyota second for the Ganders Outdoors 400, but his time stood for less than an hour. NASCAR threw out his qualifying time and sent Busch to the rear of the field when the car failed inspection at the chassis station.
“There’s a rule with a number of fans that you’re allowed to have to cool the tires and brakes, and I didn’t misread it, I just neglected to read it, and [it] says plain as day that you can only have one, and when you have two, you’re outside of the rules,” Stevens explained. “They can point to it and tell you, and you say, oh, yeah, I’m an idiot. You fix it, and you move on.
“But we were on post-race tolerance [during] post-qualifying, and then we had to go to pre-race tolerance for some of the chassis measurements. But I wasn’t really concerned that it was going to affect the speed of our car. I was gravely concerned that it was going to hurt our pit selection and have a negative impact on us every time we came down pit road, but the speed of the car not so much.”
The car passed inspection on its second time though.
NASCAR has all teams go through inspection after qualifying when it has an “enhanced weekend,” which is a two-day show for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. With no activity on Friday, teams did all their practice and then qualified Saturday. The cars are then taken through inspection and impounded where teams can make no adjustments before the race.
Busch won for the sixth time at Pocono. It took Busch 17 laps to crack the top 10, and he took the lead for the first time on Lap 112. Busch led a race-high 52 laps.
“Kyle and I don’t really do a lot of apologizing,” Stevens said of the reaction after the inspection failure. “He knows I’m trying to do my best, I know he’s trying to do his best. You’ll make mistakes, and you’ll have oversights.
“I’m embarrassed about it. I’m not sorry about it. It’s not that big of a deal. Nobody died. Nothing caught on fire. You know, it was just one of those things. I’ve just got to maybe read the whole rulebook in my downtime. Maybe I’ll do it on the plane ride home.”