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Cup playoffs: William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. starting from rear at Las Vegas

Las Vegas Cup playoffs

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - SEPTEMBER 11: William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, races Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Red White Blue Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders at Richmond Raceway on September 11, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers William Byron and Martin Truex Jr. will start from the rear in tonight’s Round of 12 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Both were penalized after Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed pre-race inspection twice.

Byron and Truex were set to start third and fourth, respectively, in tonight’s race.

Entering the Round of 12, Truex is the second seed with a 16-point cushion over the cutline to advance to the next round. Byron starts on the cutline as the eighth seed, one point ahead of Joey Logano.

The cars of Aric Almirola (No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) and J.J. Yeley (No. 66 MBM Toyota) also failed pre-race inspection twice and will start from the rear.

Yeley’s No. 66 car later failed pre-race inspection for a third time. As a result, the No. 66 car chief, Ty Brazeal, was ejected from the track. Additionally, Yeley must serve a pass-through penalty following the green flag. The car finally passed pre-race inspection on its fourth try.

Almirola was to start 17th. Yeley was to start last in the 38-car field.