HAMPTON, Ga. — Kyle Busch's car failed a post-qualifying inspection Friday, leaving him at the back of the pack instead of on the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
The ruling leaves brother Kurt Busch as the pole-sitter for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch ran strong through all three elimination rounds of qualifying and had the top speed at 191.582 mph before Kyle's fast lap of 191.668 mph in his No. 18 Toyota.
Kyle Busch is the defending Sprint Cup series champion.
Scott Miller, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition, said a laser inspection revealed the rear toe, which affects alignment, on Kyle Busch's car did not meet specifications. Miller said Busch and his crew chief, Adam Stevens, do not face additional penalties.
Miller said the violation was found in the new laser test.
"This is a way to police that," Miller said. "Teams asked for it. We instituted it and they didn't pass."
Jamie McMurray, who had the top speed in the second round, will start beside Kurt Busch on the front row, followed by Trevor Bayne and Ryan Newman. Denny Hamlin, fresh off last week's Daytona 500 win, was eliminated in the second round.
There are only 39 cars entered. That's the lowest number for a Cup race since 37 competed at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1996, according to STATS. Since NASCAR standardized the fields in 1998, it's only the third time all available slots are not filled. NASCAR introduced a 40-car maximum this season, down from 43 in recent years.
NHRA: Antron Brown led the first day of Top Fuel qualifying at the CarQuest Auto Parts Nationals in Phoenix with a run of 3.765 seconds at 319.45 mph. Courtney Force led Funny Car and Bo Butner topped Pro Stock.