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Inspection failures force Kyle Busch to start at rear

Inspection failures

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 28: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Mini’s Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway on June 28, 2020 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Kyle Busch will start at the rear of the field in Saturday night’s playoff race at Richmond after his No. 18 car failed inspection twice.

Busch was to have started sixth.

His car was penalized for two inspection failures before the race. No other cars had two inspection failures before the race.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Richmond: Start time, TV channel, forecast

One challenge for Busch could be the change in stage lengths in the opening stage. Last year, the first stage ended on Lap 100. Tonight’s first stage ends at Lap 80. So Busch has fewer laps to climb from the rear and into the top 10 to score stage points.

Richmond is the second race of the first round of the playoffs. Busch is 10th in the standings. He’s seven points ahead of the cutoff for the final transfer spot to the second round.

Busch goes into Saturday night’s race (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) without crew chief Adam Stevens, who is serving a one-race suspension. Stevens was penalized because Busch’s car had two lug nuts not safe and securer after last weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Jacob Canter will be Busch’s crew chief Saturday. Canter has been Busch’s crew chief in his five Xfinity starts.

Busch is winless this season. He’s had at least one Cup victory in each of the past 15 season. That’s tied with Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and Tony Stewart for sixth on the all-time list for most consecutive seasons with a Cup win.

Busch has six career wins at Richmond. He swept both Richmond races in 2018.