Chase Elliott penalized ahead of Texas playoff race

Chase Elliott has been penalized and is set to start the NASCAR Cup Series round of 8 opener at Texas Motor Speedway from the rear of the field.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott was slated to start the opening race of the round of 8 of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway in sixth place behind the wheel of his #9 Chevrolet, but that will not be the case.

Because his #9 Chevrolet failed pre-race inspection twice ahead of this afternoon’s 334-lap Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Fort Worth, Texas, he is set to drop to the rear of the field, promoting everybody behind him who was slated to have started in the outside lane.

Elliott, who is listed by WynnBET at +600 to win today’s race and +750 to win the championship, is the only one of the remaining championship contenders who is set to drop to the rear, though others throughout the field were also issued the same penalty for the same reason.

This marks the series-leading sixth time in the 2021 season that he has been sent to the rear.

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The #14 Ford of Stewart-Haas Racing rookie Chase Briscoe, the #7 Chevrolet of Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie, the #51 Chevrolet of Petty Ware Racing’s Cody Ware, the #15 Chevrolet of Rick Ware Racing’s Garrett Smithley, and the #66 Ford of MBM Motorsports’ David Starr all failed pre-race inspection twice as well.

The #88 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman and the #77 Chevrolet of Spire Motorsports’ Justin Haley were sent to the rear for unapproved adjustments.

Bowman was to have started in 14th place (outside lane), while Briscoe was to have started in 26th (outside) and LaJoie was to have started in 29th (inside). Haley, Ware, Smithley and Starr were already the last four drivers in the outside lane so won’t actually drop down the order from 32nd, 34th, 36th and 38th, respectively, before the green flag.

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Here is the updated starting lineup for the 2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Starting Lineup
1st – Kyle Larson
2nd – Denny Hamlin
3rd – Kyle Busch
4th – Ryan Blaney
5th – Joey Logano
6th – Martin Truex Jr.
7th – Brad Keselowski
8th – Chris Buescher
9th – Tyler Reddick
10th – William Byron
11th – Christopher Bell
12th – Michael McDowell
13th – Matt DiBenedetto
14th – Bubba Wallace
15th – Austin Dillon
16th – Cole Custer
17th – Kurt Busch
18th – Aric Almirola
19th – Daniel Suarez
20th – Kevin Harvick
21st – Erik Jones
22nd – Anthony Alfredo
23rd – Ryan Preece
24th – Quin Houff
25th – Ross Chastain
26th – Chase Elliott
27th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
28th – Alex Bowman
29th – Ryan Newman
30th – Chase Briscoe
31st – Josh Bilicki
32nd – Justin Haley
33rd – B.J. McLeod
34th – Cody Ware
35th – Joey Gase
36th – Garrett Smithley
37th – Timmy Hill
38th – David Starr
39th – Corey LaJoie

Tune in to NBC at 2:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the 2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 from Texas Motor Speedway, and be sure to start your free trial of FuboTV today if you have not done so!

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