Who knew you could qualify for a NASCAR Cup Series playoff race with a speed of 0.00? If Matt DiBenedetto and his team didn’t know before, they sure do now. DiBenedetto could not complete a lap during qualifying due to an ignition issue according to Autoweek, and told NASCAR officials about the problem.
Because the team was not trying to avoid qualifying and instead had a legitimate issue, NASCAR allowed the time of 0.00 at a speed of 0.00 to stand. Despite the bad luck of not being able to even attempt a qualifying lap, DiBenedetto lucked out in another way. The 40 car field only had 40 entrants. Meaning his time of absolutely nothing was still good enough for him to qualify last.
Also, it is not like the second to last qualifier did much better. Reed Sorenson will start 39th after a fuel pump malfunction led to a qualifying speed of 18.775 mph. It took him 191.747 seconds to complete a single lap of the one mile track, or eight and a half times longer than it took pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. to complete a lap.
So, next time you see that awful, “I’m not speeding, I’m qualifying” bumper sticker, remind them that you could have qualified better than two Cup Series drivers on a bicycle.