DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 01: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, speaks with Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 BassProShops/TrackerBoats40thAnv Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 1, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

NASCAR officials did something peculiar to two playoff drivers during Chicagoland


During Sunday's playoff opener at Chicagoland, TV cameras showed NASCAR officials doing something peculiar after Stage 2.

After Kyle Busch and eventual winner Martin Truex Jr. made pit stops, NASCAR officials were seen on camera taking their tires and inspecting them. The broadcasting team said they were submerging the tires in water to look for holes to ensure they weren't leaking air.

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell said on Twitter that it was the fifth time NASCAR officials had checked tires this season.

https://twitter.com/odsteve/status/909620881445580800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fnascar.nbcsports.com%2F2017%2F09%2F17%2Fcrew-chiefs-good-with-nascar-seizing-their-tires-during-race%2F

Related: Not many surprises for the favorites in the first playoff race at Chicagoland

Busch crew chief Adam Stevens and Truex crew chief Cole Pearn said it's not uncommon for officials to check tires, especially considering how many laps those two drivers led respectively. Busch led for 85 laps, while Truex led for 77 laps.

"Usually when you're running good, they're going to come take them," Pearn said. "That's fine. They're just doing their due diligence, doing what they should be doing. No issue there."

Stevens and Pearn both seemed fine with the tire inspections since NASCAR officials want to make sure drivers are on a level playing field.

"They do that a lot," Stevens said. "If you're leading laps and running up front, they do that a couple of times a weekend. It's pretty normal. They take them from somebody every week. Somebody's out there leading laps and pulling away, they'll take your tires to make sure they're not leaking air in some way."

Sometimes the tire inspection happens after the race, so fans don't see it on national TV like they did on Sunday. It's a good idea to ensure drivers aren't trying to gain an advantage with their tires, especially in playoff races.

(h/t NBC Sports)