Post-Qualifying Infractions Shuffle Starting Lineup
Saturday night in the “Chapman Pools 100 Presented by Papa John’s,” waves were made in the infield staging area, where the cars were held after taking time. One-by-one, cars left the impound area on pit road and cars were pushed back to the trailer, including fast timer Chase Elliott and the rest of the top-four qualifiers Johanna Long, Jimmy Garmon and Johnny Henderson, as well as sixth-place qualifier Bubba Pollard. Only 10 cars were at GMP for this event, so when the majority of them are taken off the grid line, leaving it looking rather barren, everyone in the pits knew something was up.
Turns out, as Speed51.com was able to confirm with Gresham Motorsports Park Competition Director Micky Cain, two drivers were caught with "unapproved fuel.” They were Chase Elliott and Johnny Henderson. According to Cain, the fuels were a different color from the approved Sunoco track fuel.
"One was blue, one was green," said Cain after the race, declining to identify which of the two drivers' cars had the unapproved fuel colors.
The other drivers, Jimmy Garmon and Bubba Pollard, who admitted to having VP Fuel in his racecar, chose to start at the rear of the field because their cars would have the unapproved fuel in them should they have to go to post-race tech.
“You go to so many racetracks, you figure they’d all have the same rules,” said Pollard. “They do have the same rules, but fuel. You don’t read every little thing, but that’s part of it. VP 110 and Sunoco 110. They’re just different colors. It didn’t help the performance.”
Another driver, Johanna Long, was forced to go to the rear at the start of the field for an infraction that did not include fuel. In the driver’s meeting earlier in the day, Cain stated that the racecars could not be touched, including the removal of grille tape, until a pre-race work session.
Once Long’s #10L car came onto pit road, her crew removed the tape before being allowed to do so, earning the penalty.
“With 10 cars, they probably should’ve let it go. Johanna with the tape, they probably should’ve let that go too,” added Pollard. “You don’t do that with 10 cars. But they do put on a good show. They do the best they can to make it as fair for everyone. That’s just part of it.”