DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – It was a crazy Saturday morning for the NASCAR XFINITY Series officiating. While they did absolutely nothing wrong, it was just a bizarre day of penalties.
First, Crew chiefs for the No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin Dillon and No. 74 Dodge of Mike Harmon, along with the car chief for the No. 3, have been ejected for Saturday’s Xfinity Series Powershares QQQ 300 (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The No. 74 car failed four times at the Optical Scanning Station car inspection process pre-qualifying. The No. 3 car had a rear suspension violation. According to the updated 2018 at-track deterrence model, that is cause for an ejection before the race.
That means the No. 3 team will need to fill its crew chief and car chief roles with someone already on its at-track roster with Nick Harrison (crew chief) and Michael Scearce (car chief) penalized. Same with the No. 74 team for crew chief Robert Scott.
Then, if that was crazy enough, an insane way of how the 40 car field was determined ensued. After qualifying was over, it was determined that Matt Tifft and Josh Williams’ car failed inspection. Luckily for them though, they’d make the race on provisionals. By Williams’ speed being disallowed, it put Gray Gaulding back in on speed. He originally was a DNQ. Well, if Tifft and Williams make the field on owners points from last year and Gaulding is now in on speed, that means someone has to be bumped out right?
Insert Timmy Hill.
He qualified due to a provisional, but his owners points were lower than Williams’ from 2017. Plus, Gaulding was quicker than him in qualifying. That left a driver who passed inspection out of the race after originally making it in, while a driver failing inspection in the race.