FONTANA, Calif. -- NASCAR officials expressed frustration as 13 cars didn't pass prequalifying technical inspection Friday, leaving a qualifying show of 24 cars at Auto Club Speedway.
Those 13 cars will line up at the rear of the field Sunday by points, including seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson starting 33rd.
Those not getting through: Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Timmy Hill, Ross Chastain and Cole Whitt. The cars, in general, failed the new-for-2018 body scan for a two-mile oval where aerodynamics are critical.
"The big issue is the cars aren't legal," NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said. "That's really where the issue starts. ... It 100 percent frustrates me. We're in the business of putting on a show for everybody that watches our sport, and this is not a great story."
Miller said he had seen some rear window issues. Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Jeff Andrews, whose team didn't get any of its four cars through tech, said the issue was with the rear glass and rear deck lid areas but not specific to the rear window itself. He said all four of the Hendrick cars had similar issues.
Both Miller and Andrews said they didn't believe the inspection issues were related to the turnaround or prep time of cars for the third race of NASCAR's three-race West Coast tour.
"We were making changes to try to get through tech, but those changes weren't showing up [on the scan]," Andrews said. "So that's kind of where we're at right now -- just stop, regroup and understand why those changes weren't showing up and what on our end we can do to be better."
Miller said only about a dozen cars didn't pass tech on the first try last week at Phoenix, which was about normal. On Friday, there were 24-25 cars that didn't pass on the first time through the tech line. That meant a huge backup in trying to go through a second time.
NASCAR ejects a crew member, typically the car chief, if a team misses three times as well as docking 30 minutes of practice time Saturday, but no teams got to that point. If a team fails twice, a driver loses 15 minutes of practice time Saturday.
"Once you are one of the first-time failures and there are 25 other ones, then all of a sudden you're in a time crunch," Miller said. "If there's a high success rate the first time through, then you're going to get back through quick."
Until NASCAR changed a rule late Friday, it appeared the 13 drivers who didn't qualify would have an advantage on those who did as they'd be starting the race on new (sticker) tires, while those who qualified would have laps and wear on their tires.
The rule change allows those who qualified to purchase an extra set of tires so they can start the race on sticker tires as well.
Prior to the rule change, Busch said he had no issue if he had to start on older tires than those who didn't qualify.
"That's part of the sport, that's part of the game, and I don't see anything wrong with it [as far as the tire rule]," said Busch, whose car was one of the last ones to get through. "I don't think all of them meant not to get through tech. I think some of them obviously wanted to get out there and get on the racetrack."