NASCAR returns Sunday afternoon with The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch was considered among the top contenders for victory lane after originally being in the top five starting spots, but has since been moved. NASCAR announced Busch has been moved to the rear of the field after his car twice failed pre-race inspections.
NASCAR revealed that the defending Cup Series champion has been moved to the back of the pack ahead of the 293-lap race shortly before The Real Heroes 400. However, no further details were provided about what caused his No. 18 Toyota Camry to fail. FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass did provide some information. He said that NASCAR wanted the Busch Team to fix something under his car, which they did. However, the car failed a second inspection that revealed a different issue at the rear of the car.
Following Thursday's altered starting position lottery, Brad Keselowski will start in the pole position for Sunday's race. He is expected to be in contention for the win due to his starting position, as well as his recent history at Darlington Raceway. Keselowski won the Bojangles' Southern 500 in 2018.
This is the second time in the 2020 Cup Series season that Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing team have been penalized. He was previously moved to the rear of the 38-driver field during February's Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas. Busch was one of three drivers penalized on the day. He was also joined by Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell. All three drivers also faced 10-point deductions. This penalty was particularly difficult for Busch considering that he was scheduled to be in the pole position for the race.
"I think I knocked the wall down about Lap 11 last time here starting in the middle of the pack," Busch said following the Pennzoil 400 penalties being handed down. "Maybe I'll just start half a lap down and be clean air and run the pack down and catch them and blow by them one at a time, I don't know. I'll strategize that overnight."
Busch ultimately finished in 15th place at the Pennzoil 400 while Joey Logano secured the victory. He had expressed the belief that he would overcome the penalty and take the win, but the race did not pan out as expected. Busch will be searching for better results on Sunday afternoon.