NASCAR cuts size of Talladega restrictor plates following McMurray crash

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The cars of Ryan Newman, Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez were also damaged in the accident, with Pockrass noting they will have to use backup cars and, along with McMurray, start from the back of the field for Sunday's Geico 500.

It was Harvick's fourth pole in 69 combined super speedway Cup starts and first at Talladega since May 1, 2005. NASCAR changed the restrictor plates after Friday's practice laps in which Jamie McMurray's auto flipped a number of times.

In fact, Harvick's run in the first round was halted when teammate Aric Almirola's Ford spun out of control with a tire down, and Harvick ran through the debris from the No. 10 Ford. It's always a little bit of a surprise ...

"I look at it as a fairly open weekend with a lot of unpredictability, even for Talladega standards", Keselowski said.

Busch seemed genuinely bummed he didn't hold the pole.

"I've never been that close to a pole at a superspeedway in my 19 years and today I felt like we had a chance to get it", Busch said. "It was a bucket-list item".

In nine starts this season, McMurray has finished in the top five once.

QUOTABLE: "It's a great day to celebrate two Stewart-Haas cars on the front row". He started fourth in last year's fall race here.

-By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service.

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