Kyle Busch’s path to victory on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway just got considerably tougher.
After Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the pole on Friday at the 1.5-mile track, NASCAR announced that the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion’s time was disallowed after his car failed post-qualifying inspection when the rear end did not pass NASCAR’s laser inspection system.
“The parts move — everything moves — so you expect it to be a little bit different, but the first opportunity we’ve had to gather post information was right now, and it’s game time and it was too much," he said. "We were perfectly legal beforehand, which obviously or we wouldn’t have qualified. Just the amount of load on the track moves everything a little bit and that little bit was a little bit too much.”
Kyle’s disqualification means his older brother, Kurt Busch, will start from the pole after qualifying second, and he’ll be joined on the outside of the front row by the No. 1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray.
Kyle Busch will start last on the 39-car grid in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (FOX, 12:30 p.m. ET).
Kurt Busch ran strong through all three elimination rounds of qualifying and had the top speed at 191.582 mph before he was topped by Kyle’s fast lap of 191.668 mph in his No. 18 Toyota.
Before the post-qualifying inspection results were announced, Kurt Busch said Kyle "got us just by a little bit."
"I know I was just a little bit tight out there on the race track," said Kurt Busch, who said the brothers have a friendly rivalry.