KANSAS CITY, KS - Juan Pablo Montoya's car didn't meet NASCAR specifications in Friday's post-qualifying inspection.
But the No. 42 will be in Sunday's Camping World RV 400 field here at Kansas Speedway.
In the meantime Michael McDowell and Johnny Sauter, who weren't able to qualify on speed for Sunday's race but who both drove legal cars, have headed home.
That's not fair by any means.
How can a car that was found to have illegal shocks be allowed to race while two perfectly legal cars were sent packing?
It's because of NASCAR's confounded Top 35 rule which provides teams within the first 35 spots of the point standings with a safety net and an automatic spot in the next week's race.
Montoya is in that cocoon. McDowell and Sauter are not.
So despite driving a car that was so far outside the NASCAR rulebook an apparent pole-winning lap was taken away, Montoya simply drops to the rear of the field and will take the green flag on Sunday.
NASCAR needs to address that situation immediately as once again its credibility is at issue.
Illegal cars should not win races. We've seen that before as recently as Las Vegas back in March when Carl Edwards took the checkered flag but had his car flunk post-race inspection. A fine and points penalty followed and Edwards was denied his ten bonus points for winning.
But the record book lists Edwards as the winner and Las Vegas counts among his six Cup victories this season.
The win should have been stripped and the second place car awarded the victory.
NASCAR stripped Montoya of his near first career Cup pole but allows him to compete anyway. The No. 42 should be on the hauler heading back to Chip Ganassi Racing headquarters in North Carolina.
Sauter and McDowell played by the rules and what did it get the?
An early exit from Kansas.
In the meantime a team that skirted the rules will have a chance to race on Sunday.
It's a situation that is both unfortunate and unfair and one that needs to be changed as soon as possible.