NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contender Denny Hamlin will be sent to the rear of the field to start Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, after his No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry failed pre-race technical inspection twice.
— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) October 31, 2021
Hamlin, a five-time winner at Martinsville Speedway, was scheduled to roll from third place and enters the penultimate race of the NASCAR Cup Series season with a 32-point cushion on the bubble to advance to Phoenix Raceway with a chance to win the championship. While stage points weren’t necessary, they would have been helpful in making the team feel more secure as the race winds down.
Luckily for Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 11 was able to pass technical inspection on their third attempt, avoiding additional penalties that could have derailed a potential championship for the owner-driver.