Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick to start at rear at Darlington

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DARLINGTON, S.C. – Former Cup champions Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick each will start at the rear of the field after incidents in practice Saturday at Darlington Raceway. Denny Hamlin will start at the rear after an issue in qualifying.

Elliott crashed and damaged the front of his car. His team went to a backup car.

Elliott, coming off a win at Dover, said he cut a left rear tire.

“I recognized it was flat, it was just a little too late,” Elliott told Motor Racing Network. “By that point it started to come apart and you’re just kind of along for the ride.

“Rough start to the week. Missed the (Xfinity) race today and in a hole for (Sunday’s Cup race).”

Elliott was to have run in Saturday’s Xfinity race in a fifth car for JR Motorsports but did not make the race when the session was canceled by rain Friday night partway through the session.

Harvick suffered a flat left rear tire in practice and damaged the diffuser bringing the car back to the pits. The crew worked on repairing the car and he did not make a qualifying attempt.

Hamlin’s car suffered damage to the diffuser during his qualifying run and had to be replaced, sending him to the back. Hamlin won last year’s Southern 500.

Corey LaJoie and Brad Keselowski each spun in practice but suffered no damage.