The NASCAR playoffs Round of 8 begins this weekend at Martinsville, but Matt Kenseth won?t be a part of the action thanks to a costly mistake by his team.
On lap 198–of this past weekend?s race at Kansas–Kenseth took a trip to pit road after being involved in an incident. Once he reached his pit stall, seven members of his crew began servicing the car, which is a violation of NASCAR?s 5-minute crash clock rule, thus resulting in Kenseth?s car being parked for the day, according to NBC Sports.
To go more in-depth, it is permissible for seven members of a pit crew to work on a car during a normal pit stop. The car just has to go to the tail end of the field, but when you are a part of the crash that created the caution, then you?re a part of the damaged vehicle policy. This rule was put into place so vast amounts of a team?s crew members wouldn?t be out on pit road trying to make repairs. The consequence of violating this rule is automatic disqualification from the race.
As you might have guessed, Kenseth was not pleased with this mistake and in the video above, you can hear him saying the following to his crew chief Jason Ratcliff:
?You?re telling me we sent one too many guys over the wall so we?re not going to have a chance to race for a championship because of that,? Kenseth asked. ?Is that what you?re telling me??
Ratcliff responded by saying,? Nope, I?m telling you I sent six over and somebody can?t count. That?s what I?m telling you.?
However, Ratcliff may want to review the tape before assigning blame.
As Kenseth was entering the pits, Ratcliff is heard calling, “Seven guys only. Seven guys only, get tires on it,” before immediately correcting himself: “Six. Six guys.” He gave the right directions right after he realized his mistake, but it is hard to blame the confusion on the crew after a call like that.
Whether it was his slip of the tongue or someone being bad at math, that’s a horrible way for Kenseth to possibly end his career. He’s not going to drive the No. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing next year — his contract wasn’t picked up — and so far, he doesn’t have a ride for 2018.