The Dixie Vodka 400, which NASCAR fans can watch online with a fuboTV trial, takes place on Sunday and features the Cup Series' biggest names. Prior to the green flag waving, the cars went through inspection, resulting in three drivers receiving penalties. Alex Bowman, Corey LaJoie, and James Davison all moved to the rear of the field.
According to Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass, the Bowman's No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro and LaJoie's No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro both moved to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments. Bowman was set to start in the 13th position while LaJoie was set to start in the 25th position. Davison's No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro failed pre-race inspection twice and dropped from the 29th position.
These penalties are only the latest in the Cup Series season. Multiple drivers have dealt with issues during the early portions of the schedule and moved to the rear of the field. Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones both dropped to the rear ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500 for engine-related issues. One week later, Justin Haley failed pre-race inspection twice while Garrett Smithley's team made unapproved adjustments to his No. 53 Ford Mustang.
Entering the 2021 season, Bowman faced raised expectations. He moved from the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro to the No. 48 after seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson retired from full-time racing. He then made history by capturing the pole ahead of the Daytona 500 and becoming the only driver to start four consecutive season-opening races on the front row.
Bowman's season started in a manner that he hoped to avoid. He was one of the many drivers involved in a crash during the Daytona 500 and saw his day come to an early end. He finished 35th after leading the field to the green flag. Bowman then started the O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 in the 36th position based on the starting lineup formula. Though he performed well and raced his way to a top-10 finish.
LaJoie, on the other hand, benefited from the multiple crashes during the Daytona 500. He started his day in 16th, avoided incidents, and raced his way to a top-10 finish while many of the "favorites" ended the race early and headed to their respective garages. LaJoie then started the O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 in the seventh position but ended the day 31st.