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Getty Chase Elliott failed pre-race inspection twice at Texas Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series Round of Eight begins with a race at Texas Motor Speedway. Chase Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro, will have to begin his day at the rear of the field after he failed pre-race inspection twice.

Elliott had an original starting spot of sixth, next to Joey Logano on the third row. This penalty marks the sixth time that Elliott failed pre-race inspection and dropped to the rear of the field. He also did so at Phoenix in March, Atlanta in March, Darlington in May, Dover in May, and Watkins Glen in August. His best finish after receiving a pre-race penalty was runner-up at Watkins Glen behind teammate Kyle Larson.

NEWS: The No. 9 car will start at the rear of the field for today’s #NASCARPlayoffs race at @TXMotorSpeedway due to two pre-race inspection failures.

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 17, 2021

The No. 9 car passed pre-race inspection on the third attempt, so Elliott will not have to conduct a pass-through penalty at the start of the race. He will remain on the lead lap with the rest of the field.

Elliott was not the only driver to receive a penalty for failing pre-race inspection twice. Rookie Chase Briscoe, Corey LaJoie, David Starr, Garrett Smithley, and Cody Ware all went to the back of the pack after failing twice. Briscoe had an original starting spot on the 13th row while the RWR cars were set to start near the rear of the field.

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 will take place on Sunday, October 17, at 3 p.m. ET. NBC will provide coverage as Elliott and the other seven playoff drivers fight for the win and a spot in the championship four.

Elliott Enters the Texas Race Below the Playoff Cutline

The #NASCARPlayoffs journey of speed makes a stop at @TXMotorSpeedway today. ????


— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 17, 2021

The penalty puts Elliott in a difficult position as he tries to remain alive in the playoffs. He enters the Round of Eight below the cutline after fighting throughout the cutoff race at the Charlotte Roval for points and position on the track.

Elliott is two points out of the final transfer spot, just behind Kyle Busch (-1). Ryan Blaney (+1), Martin Truex Jr. (+6), and Denny Hamlin (+7) are the three drivers within reach while Kyle Larson (+42) has a significant cushion.

The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has never won at Texas Motor Speedway during his Cup Series career. He has 10 starts and five top-10 finishes two his name. His best runs were a pair of top-fives during his rookie season in 2016, including a fourth-place finish in the playoff race.

Elliott Has Decent Odds To Win at Texas & Move On

Prior to the penalty, oddsmakers predicted that Elliott would contend for the win at Texas Motor Speedway. BetMGM released the initial odds for the Cup Series playoff race and listed Larson (11-4) as the odds-on favorite. Elliott had the fourth-best odds at 7-1.

Busch (7-1) and Hamlin (6-1) will both enter the Texas playoff race as two of the top names to watch. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has four wins at Texas in his Cup Series career. He first captured the spring race in 2013 and then added trips to Victory Lane in 2016, 2018, and 2020.

Hamlin, on the other hand, has three wins at the Fort Worth track. He swept the 2010 season before returning to Victory Lane in 2019. Now he will return to the 1.5-mile oval with the goal of sweeping the first race of all three rounds.

READ NEXT: 3 Joe Gibbs Drivers in Need of Points After Texas

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Chasing Wilt Chamberlain: Weak Joel Embiid Drops 43 to Lead Sixers

Getty Sixers center Joel Embiid scored a season-high 43 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on Dec. 6, 2021 against Charlotte.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Joel Embiid at this point. The most dominant big man in the NBA scored 43 points and and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 127-124 overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Embiid has quickly become this generation’s Wilt Chamberlain. It’s okay to admit he’s that good. The runner-up for MVP knocked down a 19-foot jumper to tie the game at 119, then nearly ended it at the buzzer as his fadeaway hit the backboard and rolled around the rim. Embiid scored six of Philly’s eight overtime points to close it out.

More impressively, Embiid only took 20 shots while getting to the foul line 14 times. He missed a whopping seven shots: five from the field, two from the charity stripe. The All-Star center also added seven assists to give him at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, five assists for the fourth time in his career. That’s the second-most in Sixers’ franchise history behind Chamberlain.

Joel Embiid tonight:

43 PTS
15 REB
15-20 FG
12-14 FT

It’s his fourth 40/15/5 game of his career, the most in Sixers franchise history by anyone not named Wilt Chamberlain.

— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 7, 2021

Embiid played 41 minutes and looked gassed when the final whistle sounded. Remember, the 280-pounder has still been feeling the lingering effects of a pretty serious battle with COVID-19. He missed nine games due to the novel coronavirus and admitted “that jawn hit me hard.” And he’s still not 100% over it.

“I’m not even close to [100 percent]. I’m still feeling it,” Embiid told Alaa Abdelnaby (via Serena Winters) during a post-game interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I get tired easily, feel pretty weak. Every single day, slowly getting better. So I just got to keep pushing myself. My teammates, they push me.”

43 PTS | 15 REB | 7 AST@JoelEmbiid earned a new season-high tonight. ????

???? presented by @PALottery

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 7, 2021

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Tobias Harris Marvels at Embiid’s Play

Embiid carried the Sixers for the second straight game after dropping 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Atlanta. His jumper with 42.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter clinched that one. What he’s doing right now is incredible, something not lost on his thankful teammates.

“He’s dominant. The way that he impacts the game offensively, he’s a shot-maker,” said forward Tobias Harris, via Lauren Rosen. “He’s the guy that we go to when we need a bucket and he delivers for us.”

"He's dominant. The way that he impacts the game offensively, he's a shotmaker. He's the guy that we go to when we need a bucket and he delivers for us." – Tobias Harris on Joel Embiid.@Tobias31 with @LaurenMRosen on the court postgame.

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 7, 2021

But the Sixers are going to need some other guys to step up if they want to climb up the standings. Harris scored 21 points versus Charlotte and was the only other scoring option. He also tended to disappear in key moments. Meanwhile, Danny Green (nine points, 3-of-7) and Seth Curry (six points, 3-of-11) really struggled.

Tyrese Maxey Out with Non-COVID Illness

Philadelphia can’t catch a break with the injury or flu bug this season. The Sixers ruled starting point guard Tyrese Maxey out about an hour prior to tip-off with a non-COVID illness. Shake Milton drew the start and drilled four 3-pointers before finishing with 16 points. Furkan Korkmaz also saw took a turn running the point position.

Per the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey is OUT tonight with a non-COVID illness. Had a feeling that might be the case when he wasn’t out there at his normal warm-up time. Tobias Harris’ status will be determined after his pregame warmup.

— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) December 6, 2021

Remember, Harris sat out Saturday’s game against Atlanta with the flu. He saw 41 minutes in his first game back and scored 21 points. The Sixers (13-11) get one day off before a scheduled rematch in Charlotte on Wednesday, December 8. They sit seventh in the Eastern Conference.

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