(Hampton, GA) With a new inspection policy set by NASCAR for the 2018 season, teams knew that it would be difficult to get through tech inspections, and they would have to double even triple check before heading into an inspection. For defending NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. of the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops Toyota testing did not go well. They failed the Optical Scanning Station (OSS) not just once but three times.
Before inspections, Truex was asked what he thought about the new inspections, and if we would see everyone qualify, with a giggle he said; “That’s a great question, I think we’ll find out here in about 2, maybe 3 hours. I know that our guys are planning. We stopped practice early just to try to get a jump start. Have a good plan going into this system today just to see what happens, we’re trying to be ahead of the curve you could say. It has potential to be very difficult just depends on how many guys have to go around and what kind of line that creates.”
It was, in fact, difficult for the No. 78 team issues arising from multiple body scan problems. They occurred on the rear wheel openings, and they had rear toe failure as well, between the two of those they were unable to get the green light. With three failed inspections, the team could have tried for the green light a fourth time, however, they decided not to because it could have potentially caused escalated penalties.
Due to the three failed OSS inspections, Martin Truex Jr. missed qualifying and NASCAR was able to eject one crew member from the team, that elected member being the team’s car chief, Blake Harris. In addition, on Saturday, the No. 78 car will serve a 30-minute practice hold during final practice. Additionally, on Sunday Truex will start 35th in the 59th Annual Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500.
With Truex beginning in the back of the field, it looks to be a steep road for him in the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. If he gets lucky and cautions play in his favor, we could see him making his way up through the field. It’s something familiar to what he had to do in his first ever Cup series win back in 2007 at Dover when running in the No. 1 for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. Back then he started 26th, this time he’ll have just 10 more places to make up. It is Atlanta, and it’s a long race. There’s a lot that could happen; we will see Sunday.