NASCAR Sprint Cup: Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth among drivers penalized

jutter@charlotteobserver.comApril 4, 2014 

— A dozen Sprint Cup Series teams were docked 15 minutes of practice time Friday at Texas Motor Speedway for being late to the qualifying inspection line last weekend at Martinsville, Va.

The teams of Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Landon Cassill, Cole Whitt, Michael Annett, Martin Truex Jr., Reed Sorenson, Clint Bowyer, Parker Kligerman and Kyle Larson all lost practice time in Friday’s lone session.

Teams being penalized practice time for being late to inspection is nothing new, however of the number of teams being late on the same weekend is unusual.

“To be fair to the garage, you have to maintain schedules and equal opportunities to work on your cars,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “We’re more structured this year with getting our cars through inspection, getting them out on the line for qualifying.

“So to be fair to all the competitors, we have certain time frames which you’re allowed to work on your car, when you have to be out of the garage and getting ready for qualifying.”

Goodyear expanding new tire use

Goodyear is utilizing its new “multizone tread” tire technology in the Cup series this weekend at Texas. The right-side tire – which combines two distinct rubber compounds in the same tire – debuted last season and were used in races at Atlanta and Kansas.

“Coming this year to Texas, we wanted to make sure we addressed what we knew was coming, which was higher speeds, higher downforce with the new car,” said Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear.

“We wanted to make sure we were prepared for that. At the same time we wanted to make sure we weren’t going to give up a lot of grip on this worn surface because that’s the easy thing to do – just go harder in the tire – but that’s not always the best solution.”

The multizone tire also will be used at Richmond and may be used at Michigan.

Penske inducted into Texas hall

Team Penske owner Roger Penske was honored Thursday night with induction into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.

“I know what Roger would say,” said Walt Czarnecki, executive vice president of Penske Corporation. “He’d say, ‘I’m the face of our company, but it’s really the people of our organization who deserve this. They’re the ones who have the desire, who have the commitment, who are proud of the organization. That’s why we’ve been able to achieve what we have.’ 

Penske became the 16th member of the Texas hall and the third car owner inducted in the past five years, joining fellow NASCAR owners Jack Roush (2012) and Joe Gibbs (2009).

Fan voting under way for NASCAR hall

Fan voting for the 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame has begun on NASCAR.com and concludes at noon on May 20.

The five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will comprise the Fan Vote ballot, which will be included among the 54 submitted by the hall’s voting panel.

Last year, Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts were on the Fan Vote ballot. The 2015 class will be announced May 21.

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