JOLIET, Ill – Paul Menard may have shocked everyone by winning the pole for Sunday’s Overton’s 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) but another shocker is who will be coming from starting spots further than once expected.
Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch qualified 13th and 18th respectively. They have the most wins this season in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series action. Harvick, has visited victory lane five times with Busch four.
But, they’ll actually get to move up two spots on track at the start of today’s race at the Chicagoland Speedway due to two drivers ahead of them failing inspection following Saturday evening’s qualifying session.
See, this weekend is an “enhanced” weekend schedule. Due to that, NASCAR allowed teams to practice and qualify first before going through the “official” inspection process. The teams could voluntarily go through inspection as many times as they wanted all day, but once they qualified, it was game on.
If you failed inspection the first time, the cars’ time would be disallowed and have to go to the rear. Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Chris Buescher all had their times taken away due to them failing inspection last night.
Hamlin, was slated to start fourth and Truex Jr. 12th, hence the reason why Harvick and Busch moved up two spots. They’ll now start, 36th (Truex), 37th (Hamlin), 38th (Johnson) and 39th (Buescher) instead.
Hamlin, has four straight top six finishes here while Truex has won the last two races on the 1.5-mile track. Plus, combine Truex, Harvick and Busch and you get 11 straight wins on 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.
So, you can bet a race full of strategy and passing as it will be fun to watch these drivers come through the field on Sunday.