Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

NASCAR penalizes Justin Haley, No. 51 team at Nashville

LEBANON, Tenn. -- Justin Haley will start Sunday's Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway at a disadvantage as the result of penalties issues Saturday afternoon.

NASCAR issued a penalty report and said that the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing team had made unapproved adjustments to the Ford Mustang after it went through technical inspection. As a result, Haley could not qualify at the 1.33-mile track. He will have to start from the rear of the field and then serve a pass-through penalty after taking the green flag.

The penalties continued with the No. 51 team losing pit stall selection for Sunday's Cup race (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC). NASCAR also ejected car chief JR Norris for the remainder of the weekend.

Haley is in the middle of his first full season with Rick Ware Racing after he spent the last two Cup seasons with Kaulig Racing. He has finished 17 of the first 18 races while posting top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway and World Wide Technology Raceway. Haley has an average finish of 23.8 and he is 30th in the Cup standings.

Sunday's Cup race will be Haley's fourth start at Nashville Superspeedway. He competed in the 2021 race while driving for Spire Motorsports but finished 35th after a crash also involving Chris Buescher. He finished 23rd in his two Nashville starts with Kaulig Racing.

Haley was 32nd during Saturday's 20-minute practice at Nashville Superspeedway. His best lap was 30.683 seconds at 156.047 mph.

This penalty to the No. 51 team of Rick Ware Racing is the same as another issued earlier this season.

NASCAR also penalized the No. 45 team of 23XI Racing after discovering the team made unapproved adjustments to the underwing after going through inspection at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Reddick had qualified at Charlotte and had reached the second round of qualifying. However, he had to start from the rear of the field and serve a pass-through penalty at the start of the Coca-Cola 600. Reddick ultimately ended NASCAR's longest race in fourth place.