GM Joe Garone discusses whether team is looking to change manufacturers RELATED: Chevrolet address Furniture Row rumors BROOKLYN, Mich. -- A matter of weeks ago, the direction of Furniture Row Racing centered on potentially expanding to a multi-car organization. Now, just days removed from the team's first victory in four years, the tenor of that discussion surrounds which automaker's badges will be on those cars. Furniture and mattress magnate Barney Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio earlier this week that his No. 78 Chevrolet team was exploring a potential change in manufacturers. The car owner's remarks came while the Colorado-based team was still in the honeymoon phase of Martin Truex Jr .'s feel-good victory last weekend at Pocono Raceway . Friday at Michigan International Speedway , Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone elaborated on the team's exploration, saying that it was looking into options that make financial sense. "It is. It's about business," Garone said. "We are in a sport that is real expensive. We truly can't afford to do it. We can do it. When I say we can't afford to do it, I mean at the level we want to push it to in order to be able to be in position to win a championship. We need more resources. Chevrolet has been a great partner. We have been together for 10 years now. But they are spread across … they do a great job; look at all the championships they have won. But to get to the level we need to get to, we need to get a lot more support. We are open and have been looking to try and get that just to push our team forward further." Going further would mark an even more pronounced performance pick-up for Truex, who has run at the front of the pack in recent weeks, leading gobs of laps before finally cashing in last weekend at Pocono. The victory virtually assured Truex a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, where Furniture Row will make only its second appearance since the organization's formation in 2005. MORE: Truex takes long road back to Victory Lane From those origins, however, the team has been exclusively linked to Chevrolet for its decade-plus in NASCAR's top division. For the majority of the team's lifetime, it has also carried the colors of Furniture Row and Denver Mattress, Visser's own companies. Garone -- who was quick to distinguish that the operation was definitely looking, not definitely changing automakers -- said that the scope of the team's search included both new manufacturers and new sponsors. "One of the things about the No. 78 car is because it has always had Furniture Row and Denver Mattress on it, everybody assumes it is sponsored," Garone said. "It has made it tough to find partners, but again Barney owns those companies. We need to get the word out that we are actively looking for sponsorship to come on board. Not just for the No. 78, but to expand the company into a multi-car team. It is for the long-term growth of the team. We will just see what plays out and just keep pushing the button and try to expand this thing." RELATED: Is second car in the cars for Furniture Row ? For Truex, his focus remains trained on improving over the second half of the regular season and making a move for his first Sprint Cup championship in the 10-race Chase. But he also acknowledged that teams, regardless of their position in the garage's pecking order, are continually searching for an edge. "More of what we are doing and just continuing to get better and push hard and try to find more speed," Truex said. "I think everybody is looking right now. Everybody is constantly working hard. Things change a lot in this garage area. There are a lot of smart people that are always working and always pushing to find more. We just have to keep doing that. I think that we have shown this year that we are capable of it. Certainly the last four weeks have been great. I feel like we have shown and proved that we can battle with them week in and week out. "Honestly we just have to keep our eye on the prize, stay focused and keep working hard. I know for a fact the team has it in them. It's just a matter of whether we get it done or not." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Manufacturer responds to team owner, would be disappointed if team left RELATED: Truex says they're 'gonna surprise some people' ADRIAN, Mich. -- Chevrolet officials took note this week when team owner Barney Visser broached the subject of a possible manufacturer change for his Furniture Row Racing No. 78 team. Asked about retaining the services of driver Martin Truex Jr ., whose contract is scheduled to end after the 2015 season, Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday that re-signing the driver is "certainly something we want to do." RELATED: Remembering Truex's first career Cup win " Furniture Row team page "We just hate to screw around with anything right now, any negotiations, anything that might upset the applecart," he said. "... We'll get it done. We'll get in there and get started on this stuff. We'll see." Sponsorship, he said, was needed "to really negotiate the kind of contract we'd both like to see. "It may involve a change in manufacturer here, we're not sure. There just doesn't seem to be any money out of General Motors and probably never will be for us. So something's got to give." Furniture Row has fielded Chevrolet entries since it debuted in 2005 and is one of approximately 10 full-time teams fielding its SS model in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "We don't want to lose them; we've been there with them in every stage of their business and we're very happy to see they are doing that great," Alba Colon, General Motors program manager for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort said Thursday during an appearance here at the Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee. "It's a little bit personal when you have seen how their team started with nothing and how far they have come; how that first day they came out to prove 'we are a small team from Colorado and we can prove that you can have a team that's not (based) in North Carolina.'" Truex Jr.'s win last Sunday in the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono Raceway was his first since joining the team at the beginning of 2014 and just the second for the single-car operation -- current XFINITY Series driver Regan Smith scored its first, at Darlington in 2011. RELATED: Truex's long road back to Victory Lane Second in points entering this weekend's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), Truex has led the most laps in the last four Sprint Cup races. He is one of only four drivers, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee Petty (1954, '59), Richard Petty (1969) and Kevin Harvick (2015), to start a season with 13 top-10s in the first 14 races. MORE: Schedule for Michigan, Gateway weekend The only active full-time Sprint Cup organization based outside the Carolinas, Furniture Row is funded through Visser's own business entities. It has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing , which supplies engines and technical/engineering support. GM officials don't provide financial details of the group's support, financial or otherwise, for the different NASCAR organizations with which the company is aligned. Nor does Ford nor Toyota, the two other auto makers currently competing in the series. It would be disappointing if the relationship with Furniture Row came to an end, Colon said. "First of all, they have been a Chevrolet team (from the beginning); pretty much 10 years I believe that they have always been a GM team," she said. "They started to build their engines themselves and after that they went to Hendrick Motorsports and now they have the alliance with RCR so they have been a part of the Chevy family since they started. "Don't tell me you don't (build) relationships in 10 years. We have a good relationship with our teams; we don't want to lose any of our teams. But at the end of the day, outside of the personal side, business is business and manufacturers and teams make the decisions that they think are the best for their circumstances. "The biggest example -- Joe Gibbs Racing when they made the decision (to switch from Chevrolet to Toyota in '08) that they thought was the right choice for them. "It's just part of the business and we understand that." RELATED: Is Truex a legitimate championship contender? FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Truex Jr.: 'I don't think it's too early to start thinking about it' DOVER, Del. -- When a single-car team has a driver that has already earned three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 12 races and is currently sitting second in the driver standings behind last season's Sprint Cup Series champion, discussions about expanding to a two-car garage begin to stir. "I don't think it's too early to start thinking about it," Martin Truex Jr . told the media on Friday at Dover International Speedway . "I think that Barney (Visser, team owner) and Joe (Garone, general manager) have been thinking about it for a while. It's just a matter of when is the time right. "If the situation and everything works out the way they want it to, the way they want it to look I think it would be a good thing. I really like what we have right now. It's working well and it's hard to think about changing something. I think it would be a good thing for the team, and certainly they have the capabilities of making it work, I believe." But with the Furniture Row Racing driver's success this season, it seems as if the only missing piece of the puzzle is a win. Now with the New Jersey-native being back at his home track and the location of his first Sprint Cup Series win, perhaps a victory is in the cards. This weekend's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (May 31, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) will be the third-straight points race with the same No. 78 Chevrolet that he earned ninth- and fifth-place finishes with at Kansas and Charlotte, respectively. "I feel like last year we were off quite a bit," Truex said of his 2014 Dover finishes (sixth and seventh place). "We came here and we still ran in the top-10 both races, really had a good run here for us last year. I kind of was looking back at that and thinking about that thinking 'OK imagine what we can do there now.' We will just have to see." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Furniture Row Racing looks to benefit from West Coast trifecta Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live This year's shift within the early part of NASCAR calendar, including the advent of a three-race West Coast swing, will save some teams the extra effort of crisscrossing the nation. For one organization in particular, the benefit is even greater. Furniture Row Racing , the only full-time Sprint Cup Series team based west of the Mississippi River, aims to take every advantage from the schedule change that it can. The Denver, Colorado operation -- located more than 1,500 miles from the industry's Charlotte, North Carolina hub -- enters its 10th year in NASCAR and its second season with driver Martin Truex Jr., bent on improving its 24th-place rank in the final 2014 standings. With a 36-race slate spread around the United States, travel is a necessary price to pay. Now, however, the schedule follows a more logical progression, scrapping the former Daytona-Phoenix-Las Vegas-Bristol-California turn for a cleaner Daytona-Atlanta-Las Vegas-Phoenix-California quintet that runs three events in Western states on consecutive weekends. "It's definitely a good change, I think, having all three West Coast races back to back," Truex said. "That Phoenix, California, Bristol … whatever it was, it was a nightmare for everyone traveling. Logistics, haulers back and forth across the country, switching out cars -- it was definitely a good change, I think. For us to be out there for a week, have some fun, do some things and cut down on travel costs, it's a good thing for everyone." Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone, a former director of NASCAR's Research & Development Center, said the team will continue to rely on the symbiotic relationship with the company that car owner Barney Visser founded in the Rockies in 1972. Garone said a furniture truck travels each week to North Carolina for deliveries, but that its other purpose is to exchange racing parts to bring back to Colorado. Garone said the schedule alteration should help the team early on, but that the calendar always seems to balance itself out. "Obviously, any time we're racing out West, it's a better situation," Garone said. "It's harder on the East Coast guys and easier for us, but we get payback when we go back East." For Truex, the truer test of the opening five- or six-race sequence has less to do with logistics and more to do with performance, especially for a single-car team that went from qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs in 2013 to leading just one lap all of last season. Once Furniture Row makes the turn from winter to spring, Truex says the No. 78 Chevrolet team will have an indication of how well he has meshed with new crew chief Cole Pearn and whether the organization is ahead of the game concerning the new 2015 rules package. Truex hopes the results from that litmus test turn out to be bellwethers worth waiting for. "The first five races or so -- you have Daytona, a speedway track, a couple downforce races and a short track -- you pretty much know where you stand five or six races in," Truex said. "Everybody will have a good idea of where they're at and what they need to be working on. It's always a fun part of the year when guys are developing new things, and you're always optimistic that your team is one of the ones that's going to get on the new stuff quick before everybody else and have an advantage for a while. "Looking forward to it. I think that we've got a great group of guys put together, and again, with what we've built on last year and the new rules really fitting into our wheelhouse a little bit better, I think there's a great opportunity for some success for us early in the season, and I hope we can take advantage of that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The history of Furniture Row Racing and full crew for Martin Truex Jr.
Furniture Row Racing announces that Martin Truex Jr. will drive the No. 78 in 2014.
Complete news and notes for each driver in the Quicken Loans 400 fBelow is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Michigan International Speedway . 1. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch inherited the lead after a fuel-starved Kyle Larson pitted on Lap 133. Busch was pacing the field when the final, race-ending red flag was displayed five laps later. " RELATED: See what Busch said in Victory Lane 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Despite a loose-handling condition, Earnhardt climbed his way through the top 10 in the final 48 laps before NASCAR called the race. " WATCH: Find out what Junior is focused on 3. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . After Sunday’s third-place result, Truex became the first driver to score 14 top-10s in the first 15 races since Richard Petty did it in 1969. " WATCH: Truex reflects on run 4. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth snugged up to Carl Edwards on Lap 75 to get trash off his grille and continued his climb through the field once his temperatures returned to normal. 5. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . "Coming to you. Out of fuel,” Logano radioed his team after leading Laps 88-94. He rallied and earned his eighth top-five of the season. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 6. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Pitting after the fourth caution flag wasn’t a popular choice, but it didn’t hurt the Michigan native, who quickly climbed his way back into the top 10. 7. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray dealt with a loose-handling condition; he was one of several who opted not to pit during the fourth caution period with rain clouds looming overhead. 8. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard was running fourth when the caution flag was waved on Lap 125, but couldn't delay his pit stop much longer. 9. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne rallied from one lap down, thanks to skipping a pit stop during the last caution flag, and claimed his best Michigan finish. 10. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer's team opted not to pit after the fourth caution flag; he dealt with a tight-handling condition en route to his fourth top-10 this year. 11. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Spotter Chris Lambert radioed Hamlin, "These are your best laps," as Hamlin ran second on Lap 90. " For lap times and more race data, sign up for RaceView today 12. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards lined up fourth and led all but one of the first 41 laps — including Lap 30, which was the fastest of the race at 196.457 mph. 13. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears was one of the few who pitted during the Lap 125 debris caution and restarted 14th after taking four tires, fueling and making adjustments. 14. Ty Dillon , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. "Boy I hope the rain goes away," Dillon, a Michigan newcomer, tweeted during what would be the final red flag for rain. "We might have a shot." " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 15. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne led one lap after starting from the pole position, his first of the year. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick inherited the lead on Lap 95 and paced the field two circuits before hitting pit road for all kinds of adjustments, including wedge and packer. 17. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson stayed out during the late-race debris caution and unsuccessfully tried to stretch his fuel window as rain loomed nearby. " RELATED: No regrets over failed gamble for Larson 18. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman and his team figured out the handling on the No. 31 Chevy, but pit sequence and a rain-shortened race impacted their finish. 19. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . "All right, we gotta haul it, man," crew chief Chad Knaus radioed Jimmie Johnson shortly after the second red flag was lifted. "I'm trying to haul it man. I promise you," replied Johnson, who was mired in traffic after contact from Logano during an early restart. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 20. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Early on, Dillon ran as high as eighth and was trying to adjust his track bar and front fans to improve the handling of his car. 21. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon had to return to pit road after his Lap 90 green-flag stop because the left-front tire wasn’t tightened all the way down. 22. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola spent the final 23 laps holding down the broken track bar button to try to get the most out of his car. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . A loose-handling condition led Allmendinger to pancake the right side of his ride. 24. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney qualified fifth and was running inside the top 12 during the opening 70 laps of his first Michigan outing when his engine temperatures started to rise. 25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse was among those who took advantage of poor track position to pack in an additional fuel stop early on. He used that to improve his track position later on and ran as high as 23rd. 26. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish had a little better luck than his teammate with his track bar adjuster, but still struggled to find the right balance. 27. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . During the first real green-flag stretch, Allgaier radioed that he needed more grip to get around Michigan's two-mile oval. 28. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart made an unscheduled stop on Lap 75 while running inside the top 20 so his team could repair his damaged splitter. 29. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick paced a race-high 63 laps on Sunday, eclipsing the 1,200-laps led mark for the year. He is the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 2001 to achieve that within the first 15 races of the year. A cut right-front tire put a damper on the day. " RELATED: Harvick snakebitten at Michigan 30. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett spent the rain delays hanging out with his team under nearby cover, while teammate Justin Allgaier hitched a ride on the roller as crew members tried to dry his pit stall. 31. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill took an extra splash of fuel, despite a closed pit road, prior to the Lap 60 restart and picked up 10 spots after the field went green. 32. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt rolled off the grid 40th after spending his morning hanging out with current business partner Nate Burleson, a former Detroit Lions wide receiver. 33. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt ran as high as 12th en route to his best Michigan result. 34. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing . Wise stayed out to lead Lap 42 when the rest of the field hit pit road for the competition caution. 35. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan's team helped him find more side bite, and he picked up 10 spots to run 14th after the Lap 52 restart. 36. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Rear grip was a struggle for Biffle, who radioed "Thank God it’s raining" when a right-rear tire issue presented itself within the first 15 laps. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 37. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The rookie earned his best Cup result at a two-mile track for the 2015 season. 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley quietly improved his position after starting 41st on Sunday. 39. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto lined up 43rd in his first Michigan appearance and picked up several spots during the first 45 laps. 40. Mike Bliss , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing . Bliss sustained some damage to his car after making contact with David Gilliland early on Sunday. 41. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman made an unscheduled stop during the first six laps after slapping the Turn 2 wall. 42. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland hit the wall hard around Lap 65 after receiving contact from Mike Bliss . 43. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Shortly after the Lap 52 restart, Busch got loose and slammed hard into the Turn 4 wall. Fortunately that area was reinforced with SAFER barrier, but unfortunately, several drivers cited heavy rainfall in that area at the time. " RELATED: How does Busch's Chase chances look? FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 78 places third, carries momentum from Michigan RELATED: Complete results for Michigan " Analysis of all 43 drivers at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Martin Truex Jr . almost made the most of Sunday's rainy race day at Michigan International Speedway , aiming for his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on the heels of the previous weekend's Pocono breakthrough. Instead, a brush with NASCAR royalty and continued momentum were respectable consolation prizes. Truex finished third in Sunday's rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 , failing to lead a lap for the first time in a five-race span. But the streak associated with his strong start to 2015 became a historic one. With Sunday's result, Truex became the first driver to post 14 top-10 finishes in the season's first 15 races since King Richard Petty in 1969. "Just missed it a little bit today, but really proud of our season, really proud to have obviously my name mentioned next to Richard Petty," Truex said. "The King is pretty special, so thankful for my team and what they've done this year, and hopefully we'll keep this thing rolling." Momentum, as it pertained to the race itself, was difficult to achieve. The multiple starts and stops for periodic rain showers resulted in four red flags and more caution laps than green-flag laps in the opening 50 circuits. Even with the interruptions, Truex had moved all the way from his ninth-place starting spot to second in the running order. But in Truex's mind, the race turned for the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet team and crew chief Cole Pearn during their first pit stop. When the yellow flew for a competition caution on Lap 40, Truex entered the pits in second place but left in seventh as the crew waited to get extra fuel in the tank. Truex lined up on the less-advantageous inside row for that restart and subsequent ones, halting his progress until the latter stages of the race. Measuring progress through the handful of brief rain delays wasn't an easy task. Pearn has been an integral part of Furniture Row's rise in his first season as a Sprint Cup crew chief, but for all his early signs of pit-box savvy, he'd never quite seen anything like the soggy Sunday in Michigan's Irish Hills. "It's got to be the weirdest race I've ever been a part of, that's for sure," Pearn said. "As many caution laps as we ran, the strategy kept changing. I felt like we did right at the end there, which it either could've gone green or could've restarted on the front row or fourth, I think we could've had a shot to win. "I felt like the car was good enough, but it's really hard to know. The pace was up and down -- some runs were really slow and then it picked back up at the end there, so it was all over the map." MORE: Manufacturer change for No. 78 team? For Truex, the rain delays posed less of an impact on strategy than they did on his focus. "More than anything it's just a pain in the butt," Truex said. "I mean, you get in there, you get ready to go, and you're like, all right, here we come, getting ready to go green, and it's raining again. It's just a pain in the butt. Once you get in the car and get the helmet on and get mentally prepared, you're ready to go, it's kind of just a big letdown when you've got to stop and get out of the car again. "More than anything, we just want to get out there and get racing and put on a good show and then get to go home and spend some time there." Circumstances -- whether rain- or restart-related -- didn't fall in favor of the Furniture Row outfit with the same alignment that they did at Pocono Raceway . But the team gets to carry the headway from another top-five finish back to its Colorado home base with an idle week for the series coming up. "I really felt like we had a good car capable of winning the race today; we just didn't really have the track position to show it, having to stay on the bottom as much as we did," Pearn said. "But that's just the way it went. Still good to keep the momentum going and have something we can continue to build off of." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Several teams cut the timing close to get through qualifying inspection RELATED: Could potential rules package changes be coming soon? BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s flashy new paint scheme on his No. 88 Chevrolet had already made an impression during Friday's opening practice at Michigan International Speedway . But the effect wasn't as flattering just before Coors Light Pole Qualifying at the 2-mile track as his Chevy sat backed up in a line trying to make it through inspection. "I don't know anything about it," Earnhardt said after qualifying 14th for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "I'm just the driver and I don't even help 'em go through inspection, so I don't even know how the process works." Teams' struggles to get through the laser-inspection process produced another backlog Friday, particularly because of issues with the amount of skew in the rear-end alignment. Several teams cut the timing close, with Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports No. 88, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 of Kyle Busch and the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 of last week's winner Martin Truex Jr . among the final cars to make it through the line and present their entries on the qualifying grid. The process has come under more scrutiny in the wake of longtime team owner Jack Roush's remarks Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about inconsistencies in the laser inspection system. Several crew chiefs for teams who were forced to go through inspection multiple times echoed Roush's comments with varying degrees of gusto. "Don't push the limits, I guess. That's what they say," said Greg Ives, Earnhardt's crew chief. "The system sometimes has its flaws but it's not all on the system itself. We understand that these are machines, that whether it's the car or the LIS (laser inspection) system, they're not going to be perfect. Things don't always go your way. Things bend, things move that sometimes you don't expect, either on the race car or the LIS system and a lot of cars go over those every day. "It's not a perfect vacuum system. There's going to be things that are flawed. As far as the amount that we were off was very small, but NASCAR's doing its job to make sure everyone is held to the same tolerance and that's all I can ask." Cole Pearn, a first-time winner as a Sprint Cup crew chief last weekend at Pocono Raceway , said Truex's No. 78 required an additional trip through the inspection line after its skew was off by approximately 20 thousandths of an inch. Truex eventually secured the ninth starting spot for Sunday's 400-miler, but only after Pearn and his Furniture Row crew made the necessary adjustments. "It's terribly inaccurate," Pearn said with a shrug. "It's just a crapshoot when you go across. You're trying to get every little bit and it's the measurement and lack of repeatability of the machine. It's just kind of tough … It's what we've got to deal with." NASCAR officials declined comment Friday. Roush's refrain to SiriusXM broached the possibility that the laser system -- which debuted for the 2013 season -- was potentially sensitive to atmospheric conditions. Other small differences in calibration could be attributed to the cars themselves, factoring in the wear and tear of turning high-speed laps in between inspections -- which occur before first practice, before qualifying and before the race. The delays boiled over in the series' second race this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway , where 13 drivers missed Coors Light Pole Qualifying because of extra trips through the inspection process. Friday's additional inspections in the Michigan garage didn't approach that dire level, but still cut into the opening 20-minute round of knockout qualifying for a handful of teams. RELATED: Inspection woes at Atlanta prevent several from qualifying "Sometimes you roll up there and you get a number and you're working with that number; the next time you roll up, you don't change anything, it could be just a little tiny bit different," said Adam Stevens, crew chief for Busch's JGR No. 18 Toyota. "Everybody's working in the margins. It's nothing crazy or out of the ordinary from my view. We made an adjustment and the adjustment fixed it. It's just another day at the track." Stevens said it was just the second time this season that his team had been through inspection multiple times. Even with Friday's hiccup, he wasn't among those casting aspersions at the laser system's accuracy. "It's a mechanical device, and every mechanical device has a tolerance," Stevens said. "Anything in the whole world that's mechanical has a tolerance, so that's all there is to it. I don't think it's a big problem. I feel like any given weekend you show up, it's pretty repeatable. At least in my experience, it hasn't been a major issue." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bruce: Challenges run deep for two-car organization After 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, Clint Bowyer finds himself 17th in the points standings, a position that's better than a lot of folks in the garage today. By picking up one or more spots between now and the fall race at Richmond, Bowyer would likely find himself in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Of course, a win would all but seal the deal as well. But there's a long stretch of lonesome asphalt between the Michael Waltrip Racing driver's current residence and Victory Lane these days. Competitive isn't a term that's been over-used this season at MWR when it comes to the organization's two Sprint Cup Series teams. Bowyer has managed only three top-10 finishes, no top-fives, and has led just two laps in 2015. The No. 15 team has been MWR's best this season, and that tells you all you need to know about the current status of the Cornelius, North Carolina-based group, co-owned by Michael Waltrip and Rob Kaufmann. The group's second entry, the No. 55, has been fighting to find its footing since the beginning of the season, with no apparent success. Primary driver Brian Vickers has been sidelined by yet another bout of blood clots -- his return isn't expected this season -- and the team's roster has featured three different drivers in his absence. David Ragan , the former Front Row Motorsports driver who took a short stint driving in relief of the injured Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing , is the most recent to settle into the seat, and only time will tell if stability provides any benefits. On Tuesday, MWR announced a crew chief swap between its two teams, moving Billy Scott from the No. 55 to the 15 and Brian Pattie from the 15 to the 55. Pattie's been to Victory Lane -- once with former Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya and three times with Bowyer. Scott, the former lead engineer for the No. 55, was handed the reins of that team after the conclusion of the 2013 season. It's a different approach, if not exactly a new one. Crew chief changes are one of the first lines of defense a team tries when results fail to meet expectations. Team chemistry is one of the few things that can't be measured on a set-up plate or with a template. No one knew that pairing crew chief Cole Pearn with driver Martin Truex Jr . this year at Furniture Row Racing would produce substantial results. Yet Truex just ended a 69-race winless streak, sits second in the points standings and has led the most laps in the past four Sprint Cup Series races. But while Pearn has proven to be a big plus for Furniture Row , his addition isn't the only reason behind the turnaround. The team is also putting fast race cars on the track each week. Competitive cars. MWR currently is not. Given that some drivers have been unable to find their comfort zone with the new rules package for 2015, perhaps that's worth consideration as well. But no one, save for the unheralded Brett Moffitt , has managed to crack the top 10 in the team's No. 55, suggesting that the problem goes deeper than the drivers' ability to adapt to the new less-horsepower, lower downforce platform. "We've got to make our cars better," Bowyer said during a break in Wednesday's open test at Darlington Raceway . It's a refrain the 36-year-old has made on more than one occasion this year. Asked who was ultimately responsible for such matters, Bowyer took a side street if not the high road, choosing instead to confirm how much he's looking forward to working with Scott. "Yeah, but we did change crew chiefs. … Billy’s a quiet guy but he's a fun person. He's a very, very smart person, very capable of doing this job," Bowyer said. Changing crew chiefs might solve some of the MWR's ills. It remains to be seen whether it will cure the disease. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule