Inspecting the Cars of NASCAR's Star - myfoxcarolinas.com

Inspecting the Cars of NASCAR's Star

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Concord, NC -

Before Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s car was allowed on the track this weekend in Pocono, the site of his second win this season, his car had to pass inspection.

“We’ll measure the fuel capacities, we’ll measure the template room, the grid room, the wheel base, the skew of the rear end and those kind of things, very, very accurately,” said Richard Buck, managing director, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “We do the weight of the car and so on. So, we have multiple stations that the cars go through. There’s a safety inspection. Once they’ve passed all those successfully, they get check-offs on our master sheet and then they get what’s called a final sticker.”

The NASCAR inspectors are a group of people NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Junior Johnson knows a lot about.

“They see stuff that’s dangerous or something,” said Johnson. “They would make you change it.”

According to Buck, the inspection process is in place for the competitors.

“The inspection process is a large part of make [sic] sure that we maintain that box, if you will, that area that defines the playing field and the regulations on the playing field,” Buck said.

Some of the things now legal in the garage area were originally pioneered by people like Johnson.

“How do you say you’re cheating when you come up with a better puzzle than anybody else?”

Buck commented, “A lot of the rules we have that are in place come from areas that may have been a gray area that you hear about, that may not have been defined extremely well or in detail, or there may be new technology that’s appeared on the scene.”

In addition to the improvements Johnson made to his cars to make them more competitive, safety was always first in his garage.

“My cars was safe a lot longer than anybody else’s, because I was a safety freak,” Johnson said. “Some people would give up safety for speed.”

While that may have happened in Johnson’s day, Richard Buck says it is definitely not present in the 2014 garage.

“I can say, safety is the number one important initiative in the garage area and for all of our sport,” Buck said. “And there isn’t a line. Every day we’re pushing to get better. The more we learn from the positive things, the more we learn from some of the negative or even minor crashes, we’ll apply to making the sport as safe as we can.”

Kyle McCurry is reporter based in Hickory, NC. He covers Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Watauga. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/kylefox46.

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