NASCAR: Charlotte Roval Tire Barrier Claims Jones, Wallace in Saturday Practice
The two Cup Series drivers will run backup cars at Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400.
This weekend's NASCAR Cup Series debut of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval has proved tough as expected with multiple incidents occurring on the road course/oval hybrid ahead of Sunday's playoff race. One particular chicane on the back-half of the track saw both Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace crash spectacularly into the tire barrier coming off a high-speed section, forcing them to run their backup cars after practice on Saturday.
Jones, pilot of the No. 20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, overcooked his entry as he ran side-by-side with another car into the turn. He resultantly ramped over the rumble strips and catapulted into the wall of tires, damaging his car's left-front and retiring it for the weekend. Jones and his team will field a spare care for the weekend's Bank of America Roval 400.
Wallace suffered a similar fate just beforehand in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. After spinning four times on Friday, the fan-favorite driver faced more of the same issues—this time with harsher consequences. He, like Jones, will drive a second car on Sunday due to the crash.
Even the pace car spun around while traveling through the 2.28-mile circuit.
Drivers enter the left-right-left complex at nearly triple-digit speeds, forcing them to precisely maneuver their cars as there's no designated runoff area in case of understeer. While it remains just one of the many challenging segments of the newly introduced track layout, the chicane has prompted a resounding response from the field as well as fans.
Regardless of opinions, the Cup Series playoffs will continue at the 17-turn course with Kyle Busch currently in the points lead. He's trailed by Team Penske's Brad Keselowski and last year's Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. in the top three.