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NASCAR explains why Kyle Busch’s car failed inspection: Lasers

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HAMPTON, Ga. – A new procedure used for inspecting Sprint Cup cars helped cost Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing team the pole position Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The defending series champion’s speed was disallowed after the No. 18 failed inspection because its rear toe that exceeded the allowable amount. The violation was discovered by the use of a laser inspection system that is being used to measure cars at the track after Sprint Cup qualifying and races this season.
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said the change was made because teams requested it. Miller said altering the rear toe, which was out of bounds by 0.15 degrees, would help improve rear-end skew – a practice that many teams used four years ago before NASCAR tried to ban it with the new Gen 6 car.
“Teams asked for it because you have all heard the word skew and everybody talking about that,” Miller said. “This is a way to police that. Teams asked for it. We instituted it, and they didn’t pass. The others passed.”
Miller said Busch’s team passed the same inspection before qualifying. He said there would be no further punishment for the team and crew chief Adam Stevens.
“Just qualifying time disallowed,” Miller said. “It would be a different scenario if they should fail postrace. There probably would be penalties involved in that.”
Miller said the penalties were unrelated to the new low downforce package that makes its debut with Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
The violation puts Busch’s older brother, Kurt, on the pole position and sends Kyle to the back of 39-car field.
“We start in the back, but I don’t have to pay a fine and I’m not going to jail,” said Stevens, who guided Busch to the championship last year in his first season as a Sprint Cup crew chief. “If I’m going to be made an example out of, I’d definitely rather it be qualifying than the race.”
Stevens said the new inspection wrinkle would be a learning process for his peers.
“Nobody in this garage knows what it’s going to do until you roll across (the laser platform) afterward,” he said. “It just so happened our time to gather information was game time, and we were too much. We’re going to have to undershoot the rule and be way to the good and cross our fingers it’s not too much after.”

NASCAR explains why Kyle Busch’s car failed inspection: Lasers
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Seems pretty cut and dry..."they didn't pass.The others did"

Analysis: How Kyle Busch’s “perfectly legal” pole car failed tech

Kyle Busch's crew chief Adam Stevens explains why the pole-winning Sprint Cup car failed post-session tech in Atlanta.

Stevens knew NASCAR’s expanded use of its laser inspection system this season could potentially cause problems for some teams, but he never intended to be the first to find out the consequences.
In the span of about 30 minutes Friday evening, Stevens – crew chief for Sprint Cup Series reigning champion Busch – went from planning to start Sunday’s race at Atlanta from the pole to working scenarios for starting from the back.
Busch’s #18 Toyota failed post-qualifying inspection, when a trip through the laser inspection system (LIS) showed the car’s rear toe exceeded the maximum allowed tolerance.
This season is the first NASCAR has introduced the LIS into its post-qualifying and post-race inspection processes.

Finding the limits

Stevens said without having previously gone through the LIS following track time – whether in qualifying or a race – it was difficult to guess how much leeway to build into the car’s set-up.
“You don’t know how hard to push or how much to pull back until you find out and we just found out. I would rather be in this situation today then be in this situation on Sunday,” Stevens said.
“The parts move – everything moves – so you expect it to be a little bit different, but this is the first opportunity we’ve had to gather post information was right now and it’s game time and it was too much.
“We were perfectly legal beforehand - obviously, or we wouldn’t have qualified - and just the amount of load on the track moves everything a little bit and that little bit was a little bit too much.”
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said the use of the LIS was expanded this season because teams requested it.
“Teams asked for it because you have all heard the word [rear-end] skew and everybody talking about that,” he said. “This is a way to police that.”

How the system works

The LIS records items on the underside of each car, logging precise measurements – within 1/1,000th of an inch in some cases – of parts such as front and rear wheel cambers, wheel base and rear axle location.
The only penalty for Busch’s team is having its qualifying speed disallowed and starting from the rear of the field on Sunday.
Had the same violation been discovered following a race, Miller said there could be additional and more serious penalties.
Friday’s issues will be a learning experience teams throughout the Cup garage, Stevens said.
“If anyone is [paying attention] to this, they are probably going to back it way down and they’ll probably still lose sleep over it,” he said. “If I’m going to be made an example of, I’d much rather it be after qualifying than the race because you can’t afford a penalty like that after the race.”

Analysis: How Kyle Busch’s “perfectly legal” pole car failed tech
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