When Sunday’s scheduled Food City 500 finally gets underway, the starting grid will be slightly different than what was determined in qualifying.
Landon Cassill’s team tried to repair the damage sustained on his Chevrolet when he hit the wall during Saturday’s final Happy Hour practice.
But the damage was too severe on Cassill’s Circle Sport Chevrolet to be fixed in time, so the team has gone to a backup car, sending Cassill to the back of the starting grid for the race – whenever it is run.
It’s been a rough start to the 2014 season for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa native.
Cassill, who originally qualified 31st for the Bristol race, had a great run in the season-opening Daytona 500, qualifying 18th and finishing 12th in the Great American Race.
But he failed to qualify in the last two Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Things have been a bit better in the Nationwide Series, which is Cassill’s designated full-time series in 2014. After finishing 21st at Daytona, he’s been 19th at Phoenix and Las Vegas and was a season-best 12th in Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol.
That top-15 Bristol showing moved Cassill up in the NNS standings to 10th, 75 points behind series leader Regan Smith.
Paul Menard, still in wait for the birth of his and his wife’s first child, will also start at the back of the field due to an engine change in his No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
Coming into Bristol 18th in the Sprint Cup standings, Menard got off to a rough start with a 32nd-place finish at Daytona and 23rd at Phoenix, but had a very impressive third-place finish last week at Las Vegas.
Also going to the back of the Bristol starting grid due to an engine change is rookie Parker Kligerman, who arguably has had the worst luck of any driver in Sprint Cup thus far this season.
Driving the Swan Racing Toyota, Kligerman recorded DNFs at Daytona (29th) and Phoenix (42nd). And while he didn’t earn a third DNF at Las Vegas, he finished 40th, 27 laps off the lead lap.
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