Four Drivers Lose Martinsville Starting Spots

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Four Drivers Lose
Ryan Newman is one of four drivers who will start at the rear Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. (Jacob Seelman photo)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Four drivers failed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pre-race technical inspection Sunday morning and will start at the rear of the field for the First Data 500.

Ryan Newman, Corey LaJoie, Timmy Hill and B.J. McLeod were all bitten by the Cup Series inspection team and will fill out starting spots 35 through 38 for Sunday afternoon’s race.

The quartet originally qualified 27th, 28th, 37th and 33rd, respectively.

While Newman and LaJoie passed on their second times through the inspection line, both Hill’s Spire Motorsports No. 77 and McLeod’s Rick Ware Racing No. 51 failed on their second passes, meaning those two teams had a crew member ejected for the balance of the day.

The top 26 starters, including Busch Pole Award winner Denny Hamlin, all passed inspection on the first try and will start in their original positions Sunday – save for Chase Elliott, who will drop to the rear on the pace laps due to his engine change after first practice.

Hamlin’s pole is the 33rd of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

The First Data 500 is scheduled for a 3 p.m. ET start, with overnight rains having moved through the area and the track dry and ready for the first race in the semifinal round of the playoffs. Live coverage will be on NBCSN, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM.

No competition caution is scheduled for the event as of press time.