Rain cancels NASCAR Vegas qualifying; polesitter Kyle Busch to rear

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Snickers White Toyota, talks with crew members during practice for NASCAR Cup Series Penzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Mother Nature giveth, NASCAR taketh away.  Kyle Busch was awarded the NASCAR Cup Series pole at Las Vegas Saturday without turning a lap thanks to persistent rain that washed out the qualifying session.  With the session cancelled, NASCAR set the field according to the final 2019 owner points.  That put Busch on the pole with teammate Martin Truex Jr. beside him on the front row.

However, he won’t start there Sunday.

In Friday’s pre-race inspection The Toyota’s of Busch, teammate Denny Hamlin along with that of Christopher Bell failed inspection after modifications to the noses of the cars were made. Bell’s Leavine Family Racing team has an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.  Truex and JGR Erik Jones also had the fenders on their Toyota’s manipulated with Bondo but were able to pass inspection.

Saturday NASCAR issued L1 penalties that penalized the drivers (and owners) 10 points each.  All three cars will also be forced to start from the rear of the field Sunday.

Busch, who won a late model race at the LVMS Bullring on Thursday, followed by a win in the Truck race Friday night didn’t seemed too concerned that he will have to come from the rear of the field Sunday.

“I think I knocked the wall down about lap 11 last time here starting in the middle of the pack,” he 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.”

Kevin Harvick will move into the pole position.

The car of Truex failed pre-qualifying inspection Saturday on the first try but was able to pass on the second.

“We’ll be starting second,” he said. “We had a little issue with the rear tow going through the first time and then passed the second. We should be good to go.”

The Chevrolet of Chase Elliott failed twice which resulted in the ejection of car chief Matt Brandt.  Elliott will keep starting spot but will lose 15 minutes of practice time next week at Auto Club Speedway.

NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying Results Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, February 22, 2020

1. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Charter Team Owner Points 1st.

2. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Charter Team Owner Points 2nd.

3. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 3rd.

4. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Charter Team Owner Points 4th.

5. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 5th.

6. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 6th.

7. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 7th.

8. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 8th.

9. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 9th.

10. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 10th.

11. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 11th.

12. (88) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 12th.

13. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 13th.

14. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 14th.

15. (6) Ross Chastain(i), Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 15th.

16. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota, Charter Team Owner Points 16th.

17. (41) Cole Custer #, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 17th.

18. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 18th.

19. (21) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 19th.

20. (37) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 20th.

21. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 21st.

22. (95) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, Charter Team Owner Points 22nd.

23. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 23rd.

24. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 24th.

25. (8) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 25th.

26. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 26th.

27. (43) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 27th.

28. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 28th.

29. (38) John Hunter Nemechek #, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 29th.

30. (32) Corey LaJoie, Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 30th.

31. (53) Joey Gase(i), Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 31st.

32. (00) Quin Houff #, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 32nd.

33. (15) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 33rd.

34. (51) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 34th.

35. (96) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, Open Team Owner Points 35th.

36. (77) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Charter Team Owner Points 36th.

37. (52) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, Charter Team Owner Points 38th.

38. (66) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Open Team Owner Points 42nd.

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