Following Thursday's qualifying races, Bubba Wallace was set to start the Daytona 500 in the sixth position. However, this will no longer be the case. The No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota Camry failed inspection twice on Sunday afternoon, sending the NASCAR driver to the rear of the field.
Fans began expressing concern after The Athletic's Jeff Gluck posted a photo of the No. 23 Toyota Camry back in the garage. He said that the car had failed the inspection but didn't know if it was the first or second time. Gluck continued to provide updates about the car and the pre-race process, ultimately confirming that Wallace's ride had failed inspection for the second time.
"Is it a race if a Toyota doesn't fail inspection?" one racing fan joked on Twitter after hearing the news. Several others chimed in and made similar comments about the Toyota pre-race tradition. They specifically mentioned Joe Gibbs Racing, the team behind Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell.
Wallace impressed behind the wheel of the No. 23 XI Racing Toyota Camry on Wednesday and Thursday night. He posted one of the fastest laps during the qualifying session, nearly capturing the pole position for the season-opening race. One day later, Wallace came within mere feet of winning the Duels 2. He blocked Austin Dillon at the end of the race, but the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro did a crossover move and took the win.
Wallace will not be the only driver moving to the rear of the field for various reasons. Both Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones received pre-race penalties for making changes to their cars, forcing them to the rear of the field. Similarly, several other drivers had to use their backup cars after being involved in wrecks during Thursday's races and also lost their starting positions.
Wallace will not start near the front of the pack on Sunday, but he will continue to fight for his first career win. The Daytona 500 takes place Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. Fox will broadcast the action, which starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. The green flag does not wave until 3:05 p.m. ET. Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Clint Bowyer will call the race from the booth while MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio provide audio coverage.