After leading the NASCAR Monster Energy standings for much of the year, Kyle Larson fell Friday to No. 2 – and not on a race day.
The Elk Grove native’s No. 42 Chevrolet flunked inspection after Friday’s qualifying and he was stripped of his pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, Larson put forward a lap of 133.324 mph to win the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire. NASCAR quickly announced the penalty, and Larson’s time was disallowed because of an unapproved rear deck fin lid.
Martin Truex Jr. will start first on Sunday.
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Larson had raced to the top of the field without his suspended crew chief, Chad Johnston. Larson’s team was penalized 35 points this week by NASCAR, erasing what had been a one-point advantage over Truex in the driver standings. Johnston was suspended for three races because of a rear brake cooling assembly that did not meet standards.
Ganassi did not appeal the penalty. Tony Lunders served as the interim crew chief.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.