With the temperature at 95 degrees in the desert, the fans and drivers weren’t the only ones victim of the heat. Brake temperature was high as well, resulting in some melted beads and blown tires for drivers.
The problems first surfaced on Lap 97 as Corey LaJoie made contact with the wall in turn one. LaJoie was already running deep in the running order as a result of contact with the wall on Lap 28 virtue of contact from Reed Sorenson.
The second incident happened on Lap 191 when Matt Kenseth blew a tire, resulting in substantial contact with the outside wall. He had been running just outside of the top-10 at the time.
“We just blew a front tire,” he said. “We kind of struggled with our Tide PODS Camry most of the day. We got a little bit better that run, but we weren’t handling the way we needed to for sure and just ended up failing a front tire.”
The issues continued throughout the race as with 108 laps to go, David Ragan cut a left rear tire, going around and taking Gray Gaulding to the wall with him. Ragan’s tire wasn’t as a result of excessive heat, though.
“Trevor Bayne is the one that is kind of to blame,” Ragan said. “He tried to wreck Danica (Patrick) three of four consecutive laps. He was driving over his head and all over the race track. I was kind of a result of their shenanigans. They were bouncing off each other, and I tried to go low and actually made contact with Matt DiBenedetto and had a tire rub and was going to come in that lap. Just cut our tire.
“I am proud of our Jacob Companies Ford Fusion team. They worked hard, and we had a decent car today. We struggled some on Friday and Saturday but we made some good gains, and you will have that. We have a lot of racing left this year.”
The caution then flew for a seventh time at Lap 256 as a result of Cole Whitt hitting the wall in turn two due to a flat right front tire.
Joey Logano suffered the fifth tire issue of the day, blowing a tire with six laps to go and hitting the turn one wall. After leading early in the event, he had worked his way back to the top-10 following a pit road penalty in the second stage.
“The brakes are fine; we just blew a right front,” he said. “Probably just overheated the bead. I am sure that is what it was. There is not much you can do when the right front blows out. We had a good car in the beginning of the race and then just fell off and got a pit road speeding penalty, and it was hard to get back up there. We were getting closer but out long run speed was off. We have to figure out how to get faster here on the long run.”
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