Before Friday night's rain delayed Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte, Speed's Ray Dunlap did a standard pre-race pit lane story. Well, that's what it seemed like at first.
Apparently, Kyle Busch's crew found that the lugnuts were loose on one of the rear wheels of his truck. Busch obviously had no problems on the qualifying lap, as he qualified on the pole, and the possibility of sabotage was raised because tightening the lugnuts is an item on the pre-race checklist and if they really were loose, Busch would have felt something at some point during qualifying. (It also should be noted that Dunlap prefaced his report by mentioning that he debated about revealing the accusation because of the nature of the possibility. It was refreshing candor)
But during the early portions of the race, rookie Austin Dillon -- who drives for his grandfather, Richard Childress -- had a truck that was terribly loose, and something ended up breaking while Dillon was on the backstretch, sending him hard into the backstretch wall.
“They left the left-rear lugs loose. We don’t know what happened,” said Dillon, grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.
Now is this just a giant coincidence, or did something really malicious happen to both trucks? Besides each team having a pre-race checklist, all trucks that qualify are monitored between qualifying and the race by a NASCAR official and only minor, NASCAR approved, changes can be made.
Given the lack of evidence that's come forth to this point, it's pretty hard to make a widespread sabotage charge. However, how many times have you seen one team (and a top team at that) forget to tighten the lugnuts before a race, let alone two? This is worth keeping an eye on.
- Ray Dunlap
- Richard Childress