Kyle Larson's inspection failure gives Martin Truex Jr. pole at New Hampshire

After finishing second to Martin Truex Jr. last week, Kyle Larson will start ahead of him on Sunday. (Getty)

Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. can’t escape each other. Unless inspection gets in the way.

The two drivers at the top of the Cup Series points standings were set to on the front row for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire after Friday’s qualifying session. Larson posted the fastest lap in the third round of qualifying while Truex couldn’t top it.

But Larson’s car failed post-race inspection and his time was disallowed. So he’ll start 39th on Sunday and Truex officially has the pole.

Truex won last week’s race at Kentucky while Larson finished second after starting last. Larson started that race last because his car didn’t get through inspection in time to make a qualifying lap.

The second-place finish meant Larson kept a one-point lead over Truex, but that lead disappeared in the middle of the week. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that Larson’s car had failed post-race inspection because of a duct assembly issue.

Larson was penalized 35 points and Truex took over the points lead. Yeah, it’s not been a good few weeks for inspections regarding Larson’s cars.

Jimmie Johnson will start second while Matt Kenseth, the race’s defending champion, starts third. Kenseth hasn’t won this season and a win on Sunday would get him into NASCAR’s playoffs.

Kenseth hasn’t won this season and a win on Sunday would get him into NASCAR’s playoffs. And earlier this week, Joe Gibbs Racing said Erik Jones, the current driver of the Furniture Row No. 77 car, would replace Kenseth behind the wheel of the No. 20 in 2018.

Here’s the full lineup for Sunday’s race:

1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Kasey Kahne
6. Erik Jones
7. Kyle Busch
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Kurt Busch
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Chase Elliott
12. Kevin Harvick
13. Joey Logano
14. Daniel Suarez
15. Ryan Blaney
16. Matt DiBenedetto
17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19. Clint Bowyer
20. Michael McDowell
21. Aric Almirola
22. Chris Buescher
23. AJ Allmendinger
24. Ryan Newman
25. Ty Dillon
26. Austin Dillon
27. Trevor Bayne
28. Landon Cassill
29. Paul Menard
30. Danica Patrick
31. Corey LaJoie
32. David Ragan
33. Cole Whitt
34. Gray Gaulding
35. Reed Sorenson
36. Ryan Sieg
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
38. Josh Bilicki
39. Kyle Larson

 

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!