New inspection process complicates Atlanta qualifying for No. 78 car

Feb 23, 2018; Hampton, GA, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) leaves the track during practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Issues during technical inspection prevented Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota from participating in qualifying for Sunday’s Folds of Honor/QuickTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Truex will line up 35th on the inside of Row 18 for Sunday’s 325-lap race on the 1.54-mile oval. The Mayetta, N.J., native started ninth and finished eighth in last year’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“NASCAR’s new inspection process is just that … new,” said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. “The tolerances are very tight, within thousandths of an inch. It’s difficult to push the limits where you feel you need to and still be within the tolerances of the new system. One thing we won’t do is leave anything on the table and expect to get poles and wins. We will always push for the maximum.”

Kyle Busch won the pole. The balance of the top 12 qualifiers, in order, were: Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray.

Sunday’s Folds of Honor/QuikTrip 500 will air live beginning at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) on Fox, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and PRN.