On Friday, 13 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams failed to pass technical inspection, did not take a qualifying run and were thus required to start at the rear of the field. As a result of that penalty, though starting at the rear of the pack, those teams would have a distinct advantage when the green flag drops on Sunday.
Teams are required to start the race on the tires on which they qualified. Since the 13 penalized teams did not make qualifying runs, they would start the race on fresh tires while all of the teams ahead of them would take the green on tires with several laps and heat cycles.
While they would have cars to pass, the extra wide racing surface of Auto Club Speedway would provide plenty of opportunity for them to work their way through the field.
NASCAR announced the rule requiring teams to start the race with the tires on which they qualified would be waived to eliminate this disadvantage to the teams who did not have problems in tech.
While it is usually not good to have rules alterations on race weekend, NASCAR felt this would eliminate a loophole in its rule that provided an unintentional disadvantage to teams that were able to make qualifying runs.