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NASCAR denies Kyle Larson a qualifying attempt at Talladega

Kyle Larson's chase for a fourth consecutive pole in the NASCAR Cup Series ended before it even started on Saturday.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images

Larson was not allowed to make a qualifying attempt on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway and his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team could face further NASCAR penalties.

Prior to the start of the first round of Saturday morning's qualifying session, NASCAR announced Larson would not be allowed to participate and was sent back to the Cup Series garage.

A NASCAR spokesman said the team was penalised for making an unapproved adjustment to the roof rail of the car while it was being pushed from the garage to the grid.

NASCAR takes a very dim view of anyone making any material adjustments to the race cars after they’ve been through technical inspection. Any additional penalties for the incident would be announced next week.

Due to not taking part in qualifying, Larson will lose pit selection and have to start from the rear of Sunday’s race.

Larson had been on a roll of late, winning the pole at Richmond, Martinsville and last weekend at Texas.

Earlier this season, the Stewart-Haas Racing teams of Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece were each docked 35 points after NASCAR discovered altered roof rail deflectors on each car during inspection at Atlanta race weekend.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

Other penalties this year have included Team Penske’s Joey Logano, who was fined $10,000 for wearing webbed gloves to restrict air coming into his cockpit, and thereby reduce drag, during qualifying in Atlanta.

Hendrick Motorsports was on the end of the biggest-ever penalty handed out by NASCAR last year due to unapproved modification of hood louvres – which are a single-source part.

Hood louvres are vents in the bonnet of each manufacturer’s car that serve as a release point for the ducts that transfer air out of the radiator. All four Hendrick cars, and one from Kaulig Racing, were sanctioned.

All five crew chiefs of the respective drivers were fined $100,000 and suspended for four races over the incident, which occurred in March 2023.

Two Hendrick crew chiefs, who were subbing for the penalised individuals, were then found guilty of illegal modifications to the greenhouse of their cars at the Richmond race that followed. They were fined $75,000 and also suspended.

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