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O'Donnell: No. 78's side skirt was manipulated

RELATED: Truex: NASCAR making an example of us

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, said Monday that Martin Truex Jr.'s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet was brought back to the laser-inspection area minutes before Sunday's AAA 400 because it was suspected that the side skirt had been manipulated -- and further inspection proved that to be true.


"One of our officials noticed the side skirt of that car and thought it had perhaps been manipulated," O'Donnell told NASCAR.com on Monday. "We brought it back to the laser-inspection station and sure enough were able to prove out that it had been."

The result was Truex Jr.'s crew had to work to fix the area and get it back up to code before rolling to the grid and starting from the back of the field because of "unapproved adjustments." Originally slated to start ninth in the final race of the Challenger Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Truex rallied for an 11th-place finish and advanced to the Contender Round.

After the race, Truex told NBCSN that "NASCAR tried to make an example out of us today for some reason."

O'Donnell said every car goes through a vigorous pre-race inspection and part of that is the laser-inspection process that looks at every part of the car. In this case, he said, the car passed inspection, but when it was headed out to the grid an official noticed that the side skirt looked like it was manipulated.

"We've got additional cameras and obviously our personnel who are looking at the cars prior to anyone taking the green flag," O'Donnell said. "It's unfortunate it happened to the 78, certainly had a good result in the race. But we'll continue to police that area in each race."

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