Not off to a good start at Watkins Glen for the #9 car.
Chase Elliott, as well as Christopher Bell, will start from the back of the pack at Watkins Glen this afternoon after failing pre-race inspections.
They will also race without their crew chiefs, be fined $25,000 and each lose 10 driver and 10 owner points.
According to NASCAR.com, both cars were assessed L1 penalties for violating Rules 18.104.22.168.a and 22.214.171.124.b, AKA rear-window air deflectors.
Chase Elliott, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion has won the last two races at Watkins Glen and will be looking for the three-peat this afternoon.
Unfortunately for Chase, starting from the back is going to make it harder. Bell on the other hand, won the Daytona Road Course race earlier this year and is also a threat to take the checkered flag.
Due to inspection issues, the No. 9 team will start from the rear of the field today at Watkins Glen. Tom Gray will serve as the team's crew chief, replacing Alan Gustafson who has been suspended for today's race.
Chase called the failed inspection “not ideal,” but he’s still confident they can go out and put on a good race:
“It’s certainly not ideal. I feel like we can operate at a high level. We’ve been prepared for the race. I hate that Alan is not on the box, but I feel like we can do a really good job working with the rest of our team and do well.”
Bell on the other hand was a little more dismissive:
“I don’t really think it changes too much. I don’t really hear from Adam much on the radio during races. I think we’re in a pretty good spot. I don’t think it’s going to affect me inside the car. I don’t know how much it’s going to affect the team.”
Either way, my money is on Chase.
The dude has won six times in the last nine road course races, finishing second twice.