Three Joe Gibbs Racing cars will start from the rear for the start of Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Bristol Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The No. 11 of Denny Hamlin, the No. 18 of Kyle Busch and the No. 20 of Erik Jones all failed pre-race technical inspection twice and will start the 500-lapper at the tail of the field. Hamlin is the defending race winner and was slated to start seventh. Busch is an eight-time Bristol winner and was set to start ninth. Jones was scheduled to line up 20th.
Starting from the rear carries a potential impact to Busch — the reigning series champion — and his hopes of advancing on to the Round of 12. He enters the race +18 on the cutline and ninth in the standings. Busch did start from the rear at Richmond Raceway and finished sixth last weekend. Hamlin is already locked in to the Round of 12, while Jones is not part of this year’s playoff field.
Nearly an hour before the green flag, NASCAR competition officials announced three more cars will fall to the rear of the field during pace laps:
- No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet for a driver change; JJ Yeley replaced Brennan Poole after the lineup was set
- No. 32 Go Fas Racing Ford of Corey LaJoie (unapproved adjustments)
- No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet of Bubba Wallace (unapproved adjustments)