Cole Pearn on All-Star Race format: “I thought it was terrible”

Apr 30, 2016; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (left) talks with his crew chief Cole Pearn (right) during qualifying for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 30, 2016; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (left) talks with his crew chief Cole Pearn (right) during qualifying for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Pearn, Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief, has been known to speak his mind when it comes to his thoughts on NASCAR. So when he was asked to speak for an interview following the wildly befuddling All-Star Race, the No. 78 crew members simply told him, “Go easy on him, man.”

Pearn, as you can imagine, didn’t hold any punches when opining about the format.

“I thought it was terrible,” Pearn said. “We couldn’t get answers on any of the rules. it was too complicated. I don’t know. If we can’t figure it out, I don’t understand how fans can figure it out.

“It was just really odd all the way around.”

Truex and the Furniture Row Racing team finished 14th after a puzzling finish to the night. With 13 laps remaining, Jimmie Johnson led the field, but was essentially a sitting duck with both Joey Logano, the eventual race winner, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. breathing down his neck.

After Brad Keselowski said he suggested the format during a Driver’s Council meeting, he expressed confusion after the opening segment. NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell offered his thoughts following the race.

So who’s fault was the format? Denny Hamlin placed the blame on “one driver” (Keselowski).

Though it’s hard to say who exactly was at fault for the unfortunate format, it’s hard to disagree with Pearn. If NASCAR couldn’t provide an explanation to the crew or media for what happened, how can the fans have any faith in the system?

 

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