The Room of Doom caught two more on Tuesday night in the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway.
Ty Majeski and Stephen Nasse finished first and third in the Super Late Model race, but both were disqualified for a fuel cell violation. That handed the victory to second-place finisher Harrison Burton. Head technical inspector Ricky Brooks disqualified both drivers for essentially removing the fuel overflow valve.
Brooks said the violations were related to safety and did not provide any sort of performance enhancing ability, but the Oberg valve is mandated via the rule book.
“It’s a safety issue with the fuel shutoff,” Brooks told Short Track Scene after the race. “They gutted it. If they had gotten in a wreck and I had three cars pinned up against the wall, the cars would have burned down like what happened here a few years ago.
“There wouldn’t be a thing we could do about it. The fuel would have never shut off. It’s a safety deal.”
This is a fairly new rule, which has origins in the 2014 Snowball Derby when Chad Finley and Bubba Pollard were involved in a fiery crash. The Finley car caught fire so quickly on that day that Finley didn’t have time to switch it off.
Thus Brooks mandated a shut-off valve. Then Jordan Ives car burned to the ground during the following World Series of Asphalt, thus Brooks began to mandate the Oberg automatic valve.
“The safety valve was definitely changed because of what happened with Bubba and Chad,” Brooks continued. “If we had (endured) another accident, they would have jeopardized everyone’s safety because of that valve.”
For what it’s worth, both Majeski and Nasse claimed it was an innocent mistake. This was the first time the valve had been checked during the World Series of Asphalt this week.
“So basically when we run up north, it’s two barrell stuff and it’s hard to keep a two barrell full of fuel instead of a four-barrell,” Majeski said. “So what happens up north is you get vapor locking up north when its warm out.
“It’s just something we change for up north and we didn’t think to change it back down here. So its just one of those deals. It’s nor performance enhancing by any means. It is a safety deal and we made the mistake and we accept it.”
And then this from Nasse.
“So we were having an engine issue this week, sputtering,” Nasse said. “Our engine builder suggested that we gut the valve. It didn’t even solve our problem but it’s illegal. I don’t totally agree with it but those are the rules and we should have known better.”
As per the track’s standard rules of disqualifications, both Majeski and Nasse were stripped of all earnings but retain 19th and 20th place championship points.