Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin fail post-qualifying inspection for Daytona 500

Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin will have to start from the rear of the field in their respective Budweiser Duel qualifying races after both drivers had their cars fail Sunday's post- qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.

Earnhardt, the defending winner of the Daytona 500, finished 10th in qualifying, which featured NASCAR's group qualifying format for the first time, but his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet did not meet the minimum height requirement, as it was found to be too low in the left front.

He will start 25th in the first Daytona 500 qualifier on Thursday night.

"Failed post tech after qualifying. 1/8 low left front. That's a shame. The boys (No. 88 team) will figure out why. Makes the duels a lot more interesting," Earnhardt posted on his Twitter account.

Earnhardt later tweeted, "Ain't nothing but a thang. Starting last in the duels makes the challenge of winning steeper and also more enjoyable."

Hamlin placed third in qualifying, but NASCAR officials discovered the split on the track bar of his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was too wide, 3.75 inches. The maximum split allowed is 3 inches.

"Crash damage.. It was the wreck I say!!! Lol," Hamlin tweeted about his car failing inspection.

Hamlin was one of five drivers involved in an accident during the first round of qualifying. His car did not suffer any significant damage. He will start the second Daytona 500 qualifier from the 24th position.