DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):
Fans and crews saluted the late Dale Earnhardt by holding up three fingers on Lap 3 during the Daytona 500, recognizing the 20th anniversary of his death, which came on the final lap of NASCAR's signature event. Earnhardt drove the famed No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing.
The death of the seven-time Cup Series champion forced NASCAR to make significant improvements in safety, changes that have saved many lives in the 20 years since. Ryan Newman survived a harrowing crash on the final lap in last year's opener, walking out of a hospital two days after everyone watching feared the worst.
Bubba Wallace’s car failed inspection twice for the Daytona 500 and will have to start at the back of the field.
The car chief for 23XI Racing was ejected as punishment. The No. 23 Toyota passed inspection on the third time.
Wallace drives a new entry owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin. He had been slated to start “The Great American Race” in the third row. Instead, Wallace will be one of 10 drivers who have to drop to the back of the pack during pace laps.
Nine others already lost their starting spots because of modifications made after NASCAR’s twin 150-mile qualifying races Thursday. Former Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and front-row qualifier William Byron switched to backup cars because of wrecks. Same for Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, Anthony Alfredo, Cole Custer and Ross Chastain.
Martin Truex Jr.’s team had to change a radiator and oil cooler. Erik Jones’s team changed an engine.
Alex Bowman is scheduled to lead the 40-car field to the green flag at 3:05 p.m. EST.
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