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Playoff contender Daniel Suarez penalized for inspection failures

The field is set for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, and Marty Snider, Kyle Petty, and Nate Ryan preview the first Round of 16 race, as Darlington is sure to make things difficult.

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Playoff contender Daniel Suarez will start at the rear of the field in Sunday’s Southern 500 after his car failed inspection three times before Cup qualifying at Darlington Raceway.

He will not be allowed to qualify, had car chief Eddie D’Hondt Jr. ejected and lost pit stall selection for the race. Suarez also will have to serve a pass-through penalty at the start of the race.

“We’re in a little bit of a hole starting the race, but I’m not too worried about it,” Suarez said after Cup practice. “The car actually feels pretty good. I feel like we have a couple of adjustments to do. Hopefully, we can make it a little bit better. If we can do that, I think we can have a shot actually to win the race.”

MORE: Trackhouse duo completes long journey to playoffs

Suarez enters the playoff opener 13th among the 16 playoff drivers in points. The Trackhouse Racing driver finished 10th at Darlington in May.

BJ McLeod’s car failed inspection twice. The team loses its pit stall selection and engineer Christopher Stanley was ejected.

Sunday’s race airs on USA Network. Coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 5 p.m. Race coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET.