Not running were points leaders and Hendrick Motorsports team-mates, JEFF GORDON/#24 and JIMMIE JOHNSON/#48 Chevrolet. They weren't allowed on track Friday after their cars failed morning inspection. This is the first Car of Tomorrow road course race. Technical inspection takes 45-60 minutes from start to finish. The first step is the new aluminium template, which is hung from the ceiling of the first of several Tech tents. It is lowered over the car and is the same for all cars. It covers the roof and parts of the front and rear decks, but not all. In addition to the template, the NASCAR officials carry Dell PDA's to input and compare data.
Johnson's crew chief, CHAD KNAUS, said the templates fit. "It was my understanding that it was the in between template areas which didn't fit." Both fenders were involved—deemed to be out of tolerance. Knaus estimated there to be a ten inch area beyond the template which Knaus said "we didn't think was governed. Now we know it's governed."
DOUG DUCHARDT, Hendrick Motorsports VP of Development, said: "We've been fortunate enough to have five of our cars at the tech centre since we've won the first five COT races. So, our cars have probably been scrutinized more than any other cars in the garage area after the races and we did not receive any warning in those areas. None."
CHAD KNAUS, crew chief for Johnson, said there was no need to revert to the back-up cars. "The cars were repaired to, what we believe NASCAR deems sufficient. Both cars look good right now."
NASCAR will announce Saturday whether or not the two Hendrick Motorsports cars will be allowed on track.