Friday, March 6, 2015

Brad Keselowski's crew chief on why the No. 2 team got pulled from the qualifying grid

   Right before the start of Round 1 of Friday's Sprint Cup Series group qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials removed Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford from the starting grid and sent it back through inspection.

   An inspector noticed a team member pulling out the fender around the right-rear tire on Keselowski's car. NASCAR announced in the offseason teams would not be allowed to alter side skirts or fenders once cars cleared inspection and reported to the grid.

   "They just wanted to see it pushed in a little bit. I'm not sure (if it was changed)," said Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe. "The officials were out on the grid after the guys got through inspection to make sure guys don't have their skirts out too far. 

   "They didn't like how wide ours was and we had to come back (through inspection) and push it in and then get on our way."

   Asked if he was expecting any penalties, Wolfe said, "No, I'm not expecting any."

   Keselowski was able to re-pass inspection and still had time to participate in qualifying. He will start 11th Sunday.

Gordon to meet next week with NASCAR over track safety

   Four-time Sprint Cup series champion Jeff Gordon said he has a planned meeting with NASCAR officials next week in Charlotte to discuss the sport’s safety measures, including the progress on expanding the use of energy-absorbing SAFER barriers at tracks.

   “I just reached out to them to discuss some things, that being one of them,” Gordon said. “They have been sharing a lot of information with drivers, a lot more than in the past.”

   Gordon's meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the research and development center in Concord, N.C.

   Gordon, an outspoken advocate for the use of SAFER barriers at all tracks, was involved in a wreck in last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and slammed into a wall not covered by protective barriers.

   Cup driver Kyle Busch remains sidelined this season after suffering a broken leg and foot in the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona after hitting an unprotected interior track wall.

   After that race, NASCAR officials vowed to review each track to determine whether additional safety measures can be undertaken. Atlanta brought in additional tire barriers last weekend and Phoenix plans to do the same next weekend.