Kyle Busch was all set to roll from the top spot in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at his hometown track — Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, unfortunately for Busch his car was found to have body modifications that didn’t meet specs, this time on the nose of his car. As a result, Busch will officially be credited with starting first, but he’ll forfeit the No. 1 spot on the grid and go to the back of the field before the green flag on Sunday.
In addition to Busch, Denny Hamlin (scheduled to start fourth), who won last week’s Daytona 500 and Christopher Bell (scheduled to start 22nd) will also drop to the rear for illegal body modifications stemming from the noses of their Toyota Camrys as well.
The infractions for all three are classified as a L1 penalty. In addition to losing their official starting spots, all three drivers and their teams will be docked 10 driver and owner points as well.
The point deduction drops Hamlin from being the point leader, to now being second in the standings.
Busch goes from 25th to 34th in the championship standings and Bell drops from 23rd to 28th.
Busch and Hamlin drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, the team that has won 20 of the last 37 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races. Bell drives for the JGR affiliated Leavine Family Racing.
NASCAR caught bondo modifications on some of the Toyota teams fenders on Friday. The bondo, NASCAR determined, was to give the fenders a different shape than the OEM shape.
Garrett Smithley will also drop to the rear of the field for Sunday (was scheduled to start 34th) as his No. 51 car failed inspection three times on Saturday. In addition to dropping to the rear, the No. 51 team will lose 30 minutes of practice next weekend in Fontana.
Additionally, Chase Elliott’s No. 9 car failed inspection twice on Saturday. The issue on his car was in the right door area. However, the team was able to pass on their third attempt, so Elliott will start from 10th. His car chief was ejected for the weekend though, and he’ll lose 15 minutes of practice time next week at Auto Club Speedway.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.