Martin Truex Jr. will start from the rear on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway for an engine change, NASCAR announced on Saturday.
Truex qualified 13th in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota on Friday and posted the third-fastest speed in final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice.
The shift in starting position could have implications on the NASCAR Playoffs, as Truex is vying for a spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He currently ranks third of six drivers (25 points above the cutline) with two races left before the finale. Joey Logano is the only driver locked into the championship with his win at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, when he bumped then-leader Truex on the final lap for the checkered flag.
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Daniel Suarez‘s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (qualified 19th) and Chris Buescher‘s No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet (qualified 21st) will also start from the back for engine changes. Matt DiBenedetto, who qualified 31st, will drop to the rear for Sunday‘s race (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for a transmission change in his No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford.
The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of William Byron also failed Sunday’s pre-race inspection three times. Byron will start at the rear of the field and car chief Todd Devnich has been ejected. He was originally slated to start ninth.
Byron’s teammate, seven-time Texas winner Jimmie Johnson, will also start at the rear after the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet failed pre-race inspection twice. Johnson had qualified 23rd.