The cars of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin both flunked post-qualifying inspection Sunday afternoon at Daytona Motor Speedway and both drivers will start at the back of their respective Budweiser Duel at Daytona 150 qualifying races on Thursday night.
Earnhardt’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was too low in the left-front during post-race inspection. Although NASCAR last year eliminated the minimum ride-height rules at most tracks, Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway still have ride-height rules in place. Earnhardt will start 25th in the first Duel on Thursday night.
"Obviously NASCAR does a great job inspecting the cars and they found that our ride heights after qualifying were too low," said Greg Ives, crew chief for Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet. "They did their due diligence of allowing us to go through their processes of how they deal with it. In the end we still ended up low.
"It’s unfortunate for the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS team," he said. "We were definitely not trying to do anything intentional here. I don’t feel it was an advantage that got us to our 10th place position, but it is definitely something that can be frowned upon and not looked as being compliant to the rules and that is what we need to stick to."
Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota exceeded the maximum split for the rear track bar, which is limited to 3 inches. The split on Hamlin’s car was measured at 3.75 inches. Hamlin will start 24th in the second Duel.
Both drivers took to their personal Twitter accounts after learning of NASCAR’s ruling.