Sunday afternoon, the NASCAR season will start with the Daytona 500, which is available to watch online with a trial. 40 drivers have the goal of winning and reaching the postseason early, but two will face difficulties due to penalties. Both Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones will move to the rear of the field for the start of Sunday's race.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Jones violated the single-engine rule that prohibits drivers from changing out engines after the qualifying Duels races. Violating this rule means that Jones will have to start at the rear of the field for the 500, as well as the Daytona Road Course race on Feb. 21. He previously qualified 31st for the race while driving the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Truex's team, on the other hand, had to switch out the radiator and oil cooler on the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.
Truex avoided a major penalty considering that his team didn't actually switch out the entire engine. He will only drop from the 13th row to the rear of the field for the 500. He will not face a penalty entering the Road Course race.
Jones and Truex are only the latest drivers to move to the rear of the field for various reasons. Several others had to use their backup cars after being involved in wrecks during the Duels 1 and 2 races. For example, William Byron was ready to start on the front row for Hendrick Motorsports, but he slammed into the wall on Turn 3 during a wreck started by Brad Keselowski and Garrett Smithley. Other drivers moving to the rear of the field are Anthony Alfredo, Cole Custer, Ross Chastain, and Kaz Grala.
Alex Bowman secured the pole position in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro during Wednesday's qualifying session, posting the fastest lap. He is set to lead the field to the green flag — although he will do so after concerns about his car. Bowman experienced vibrations in the No. 48 during the Duels and came to pit road early.
The team tried to find the issue behind the engine vibrations during the event and avoided changing the engine and incurring a penalty. Crew chief Greg Ives later expressed optimism about Bowman's car and its speed heading into the season-opening race. He expressed the opinion that the issue would not pose any further problems.
The Daytona 500 takes place Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. Fox will broadcast the action, which starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. Though 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.