Bubba Wallace Starts at Back of Daytona 500 Field After Car Fails Inspection Twice

Bubba Wallace makes a pit stop during the second of two qualifying auto races for the NASCAR Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Wallace finished in second place. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Bubba Wallace‘s car failed inspection twice for Sunday’s Daytona 500 and had to start at the back of the field.

Greg Emmer, the car chief for 23XI Racing, was ejected as punishment. The No. 23 Toyota passed inspection on the third attempt.

Wallace drives a new entry owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin. He had been slated to start “The Great American Race” in the third row. Instead, Wallace will be one of 10 drivers who have to drop to the back of the pack during pace laps.

Nine others already lost their starting spots because of modifications made after NASCAR’s twin 150-mile qualifying races Thursday. Former Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and front-row qualifier William Byron switched to backup cars because of wrecks. It was the same case for Chase BriscoeKaz GralaAnthony AlfredoCole Custer and Ross Chastain.

Martin Truex Jr.‘s team had to change a radiator and oil cooler. Erik Jones‘ team changed an engine.

SOURCE: ESPN, The Associated Press