news 3 days ago

NASCAR senior VP of competition says drivers made 'a mockery' of qualifying Friday

Sporting News — (Thomas Lott)

Not a single driver posted a qualifying time during the third round at Auto Club Speedway on Friday and NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller was not happy about it.

"That's what you don't want," he told reporters. "Obviously having the last 12 cars wait until they couldn't get a time posted on the board and kind of making a mockery of the qualifying is not what we expect for our fans."

NASCAR made a change this year where drivers can be on the track in close proximity during qualifying so they can get a draft and produce better times.

What the side effect has been though is drivers will either post a time immediately and wait until the end of a round to try again, or they'll just wait until the final minutes to make one run so other men can't pass them up in the closing moments.

Friday, all of the drivers waited until the final minute in the third round to get going, but they ultimately waited too long, as no one was able to get to the line and post a time. Therefore, Austin Dillon won the pole because he was in the lead after Round 2.

Miller indicated there would be changes when speaking to reporters after qualifying.

"It's a little bit on us in that we hoped, we hoped things would go better than that," he said. "It's an exciting show when they're out there on the race track, but obviously we have a little work to do on our part to get a little bit better formats like that so things like that can't happen."

Miller said there will likely be no changes at Martinsville but there could be in Texas.

While Miller was pretty insistent that this can't happen again, Kyle Busch — who will start in fourth on Sunday — didn't seem to have much of a problem with what went down.

"I thought it was great," he told FOX Sports. "It was drama, do whatever, you know, don't hate the player hate the game."