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NASCAR lineup at Darlington: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s race without qualifying

NASCAR lineup at Darlington: Starting order, pole for Sunday's race without qualifying

The starting lineup and pole for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway, the first race of the 2020 Cup Series playoffs, were not set by the random-draw procedure that determined the starting order for most of the races in 2020 that ran without qualifying sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The starting grid for Sunday’s race at Darlington, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NBCSN, features some of this season’s top drivers at the front of the field. It is the result of a new formula that takes into account finishing position from the previous race, team owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race to set the lineup.

MORE: Updated 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule

As for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on the same formula. Which means the pole sitter for Sunday’s race (more on him below) also had the first pit stall selection.

Below is the starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington and how it was set.

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Darlington?

Chase Elliott came out of nowhere to earn a second-place finish at Daytona last week and also recorded the fastest lap of the race. That, combined with his fifth-place standing in points, is why he earned the pole for Sunday’s race at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin will join Elliott on the front row to start the 2020 Cup Series playoff opener after his third-place finish at Daytona last week.

Below is the formula for how the Cup Series field was set at Darlington:

  • 35 percent: Ranking in team owner points
  • 25 percent: Driver’s position from previous race
  • 25 percent: Team owner’s position from previous race
  • 15 percent: Fastest lap from previous race

MORE: Throwback paint schemes for Darlington race

NASCAR starting lineup at Darlington

Sunday’s race at Darlington is just the fourth to use NASCAR’s new formula for setting the starting lineup without qualifying (and the first to use it since NASCAR tweaked the finishing position portion of the formula). The same procedure will be used through the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

As for the starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington, below is the field the formula created:

Pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
2 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
4 Alex Bowman 88 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
6 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
8 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
9 Clint Bowyer 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
11 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
12 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
13 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
14 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
15 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
16 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
17 Bubba Wallace 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
18 John Hunter Nemechek 38 Front Row Motorsports
19 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
20 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
21 Christopher Bell 95 Leavine Family Racing
22 Jimmie Johnson 48 Hendrick Motorsports
23 Brennan Poole 15 Premium Motorsports
24 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
25 Ty Dillon 13 Germain Racing
26 Matt Kenseth 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
27 Corey LaJoie 32 GoFas Racing
28 Daniel Suarez 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing
29 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
30 Erik Jones 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
31 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
32 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
33 Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management
34 Ross Chastain* 77 Spire Motorsports
35 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
36 James Davison 53 Rick Ware Racing
37 JJ Yeley 27 Rick Ware Racing
38 Josh Bilicki 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing
39 Joey Gase 51 Petty Ware Racing

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

About the author

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Christine Watkins

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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