There were two entries that failed pre-race inspection multiple times at the Roval. The No. 78 Ford Mustang of Live Fast Motorsports failed three times while the No. 50 of TMT Racing failed twice. Both teams lost pit stall selections and had a crew member ejected.
Conor Daly, the driver of the No. 50 TMT Racing Chevrolet Camaro, had the opportunity to post a qualifying lap after passing inspection on the third attempt. However, he crashed during practice after a significant steering issue. The team had to focus on making repairs for the Cup Series race.
Josh Williams, the driver of the No. 78 Ford Mustang for the week, was not able to post a qualifying lap after the entry failed inspection three times. He will also have to start the race by serving a pass-through penalty.
A Hard Collision Created Problems for Ross Chastain
One of the names to watch entering the race weekend was Ross Chastain. He secured a win at the Circuit of the Americas, and he had a lot of speed during practice and the first round of qualifying. Once he reached the second round, however, the situation changed.
Chastain set out in the second round of qualifying with the goal of posting the fastest lap and winning the Busch Light Pole. He did not achieve this as he entered one of the turns too hot and slammed hard into the outside wall.
This collision caused a considerable amount of damage to the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro and sent the Trackhouse Racing driver back to the garage. The team had to evaluate the damage and determine if they needed a backup car. The crew ultimately opted to repair the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro instead of pulling the backup out of the hauler.
Chastain will now enter the pivotal playoff race in need of a quiet and consistent day. He is third overall in the championship standings, and he is 28 points above the cutline. This is a decent advantage overall, but he will have to avoid major issues to clinch his spot in the Round of Eight.
A Stewart-Haas Racing Driver Missed Qualifying
There were three main drivers that did not post qualifying laps for different reasons. Daly crashed while Williams couldn’t because of a penalty. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola, however, had a mechanical issue.
The driver of the No. 10 Ford Mustang had to head to the garage after he lost power steering. According to Stewart-Haas Racing, this “kicked the water belt off” and forced the team to make an engine change ahead of the Cup Series race.
With this setback, Almirola will now join Daly and Williams at the rear of the field. He will start 37th overall in the 39-car field, and he will try to recover from the mechanical setback. Almirola will also pursue a career-best finish at the Charlotte Roval after securing three top-20s and a 24th-place finish in four starts. His best run was 14th during the 2019 season.