Kevin Harvick earned the pole for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 in Friday night’s Busch Pole Qualifying at Richmond Raceway, and he gets to keep it.
Four of the top 10 qualifiers will have to start from the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection Saturday afternoon — Erik Jones (qualified second), Chase Elliott (seventh), Daniel Suarez (ninth) and Jimmie Johnson (10th). They all will have to start from the rear of the field for Saturday’s race.
“Eyes forward and let’s get to work,” said Johnson on Twitter after being asked his thoughts on starting from the rear.
But the drama of failed inspections didn’t stop there. Aric Almirola (qualified 15th), Denny Hamlin (18th), Matt Tifft (20th), and Joey Gase (36th) all failed inspection and will have their cars moved to the back of the pack when the green flag waves later tonight.
Additionally, Elliott, Hamlin and Tifft all failed a second time, resulting in a crew member ejected from each team. All eight drivers that failed inspection will start between 30th and 37th positions.
Since Richmond is a night race, NASCAR impounds all the Monster Energy Cup Series cars until the garage is opened again on Saturday for inspection. Single failures result in disallowed qualifying times, and the team is set to start at the end of the field for the race. Multiple failures result in increased penalties against the team.
So the updated results from qualifying are as follows. Harvick is still on pole with a time of 21.722 seconds. Kurt Busch is now the new face on the front row and will start second, 0.075 seconds off the pace. Joey Logano, last weekend’s short track winner, Kyle Busch
The green flag is set to wave shortly after 7:30 p.m ET tonight.