NASCAR Cup Series qualifying for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the second race of the 2020 season, was cancelled Saturday because of rain. As a result, NASCAR set the starting grid based on 2019 season-ending car owner points, putting reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Martin Truex Jr., on the front row.
365体育备用网站Busch won’t get to stay on the pole for the green-flag, though. Because of an issue with the nose of his car in inspection Saturday, he’ll have to drop to the back for the green flag.
365体育备用网站“I think I knocked the wall down about lap 11 last time here starting in the middle of the pack,” Busch said. “Maybe I’ll just start half a lap down and be clean air and run the pack down and catch them and blow by them one at a time. I don’t know. I’ll strategize that overnight.”
Another of his JGR teammates and the Daytona 500 winner nearly a week earlier, Denny Hamlin, also will have to drop to the back for the same issue, as will Leaving Family Racing driver Christopher Bell. Leavine Family Racing has a technical alliance with JGR.
Truex and JGR teammate Erik Jones won’t suffer the same starting fate as their teammates. Truex will hold his second starting positoin and Jones his 16th.
365体育备用网站“We should be good to go,” Truex said. “I’m not sure what the issues are, no.”
365体育备用网站With the starting grid set by points, the first two rows — before Busch and Hamlin’s drop to the back — will mirror the championship four from last November’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Kevin Harvick in the third and Hamlin in fourth.
Joey Logano and Kyle Larson were awarded third-row starting positions, followed by Logano’s Team Penske teammates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski in row four. Clint Bowyer will start ninth, and Chase Elliott would be next to him in 10th, but Elliott will drop to the back for the start of the race Sunday, because his car failed inspection twice on Saturday.
One driver who was glad qualifying was cancelled was Darrell Wallace Jr., who’ll start 27th Sunday.
“I think the rain helped our qualifying efforts,” Wallace said. “We weren’t satisfield with our single-car speed in our #43 Coke Energy Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, but I think we are pretty decent in race runs and being in the pack. We’ll have to go out and manage our car, get it underneath us and see what kind of adjustments we need. Hopefully, the NASCAR Xfinity Series race will lay down some rubber on the track, and we will get a better read when we fire off tomorrow. All in all, it’s our first legit race with Jerry Baxter as crew chief, calling the shots, so we’ll go out there and give it our best effort and learn from this to see the direction we need to go for the future.”