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



The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of Cup races in 2021.

Drivers’ starting positions for the Hollywood Casino 400, the second race in the Round of 8 and the eighth race of the 2021 Cup Series playoffs (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), were based on four factors:

  • Driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Team owner points ranking (35 percent)
  • Fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent)

NASCAR is conducting qualifying for just eight of the 36 Cup Series points-paying races in the 2021 season. Seven of those races have already been run; the one remaining race with qualifying is the season-ending Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7. NASCAR cut back on qualifying to limit time spent at the track and reduce costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Kansas Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval.

MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Kansas?

Kyle Larson was awarded the pole for Sunday’s playoff race based on NASCAR’s formula. The Hendrick Motorsports driver is coming off a win in the Round of 8 opening race at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17. The victory was his eighth of the season and his third of the playoffs. He has won in each of the first three rounds.

MORE: Results from Texas playoff race

More importantly, the win automatically qualified him for the Championship 4 race. Larson will compete for the Cup Series championship on Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.

Ryan Blaney, who is second in the playoff standings, will start second on on Sunday. The Team Penske driver finished sixth at Texas in the opening Round of 8 race.

NASCAR Cup playoff standings

Kyle Larson is atop the standings but is already in the Championship 4 thanks to his win at Texas. That leaves three open spots and just two more races in the Round of 8. Ryan Blaney is second, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Defending series champion Chase Elliott is the first driver out heading into Sunday. He trails Busch by eight points and Hamlin by nine. 

MORE: Roundup of the Elliott-Harvick feud

A playoff driver who wins a race in the Round of 8 automatically qualifies for the Championship 4 race Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.

Pos.DriverPoints
1x-Kyle Larson4123
2Ryan Blaney4072
3Denny Hamlin4064
4Kyle Busch4063
5Chase Elliott4055
6Brad Keselowski4048
7Martin Truex Jr.4041
8Joey Logano4020

x-Advanced to Championship 4 race.

NASCAR starting lineup at Kansas

NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s playoff race at Kansas Speedway, the Hollywood Casino 400. Forty cars were entered, which gives the race a full field. Playoff drivers are denoted by a “P” next to their names. 

Per NASCAR’s playoff rules, the top eight spots in the field went to the eight remaining playoff drivers, but the starting order was based on the mathematical formula NASCAR has used for the majority of its races this season.

Start pos.DriverCar No.Team
1P-Kyle Larson5Hendrick Motorsports
2P-Ryan Blaney12Team Penske
3P-Brad Keselowski2Team Penske
4P-Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs Racing
5P-Chase Elliott9Hendrick Motorsports
6P-Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs Racing
7P-Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs Racing
8P-Joey Logano22Team Penske
9William Byron24Hendrick Motorsports
10Christopher Bell20Joe Gibbs Racing
11Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas Racing
12Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress Racing
13Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi Racing
14Austin Dillon3Richard Childress Racing
15Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers Racing
16Daniel Suarez99Trackhouse Racing
17Erik Jones43Richard Petty Motorsports
18Michael McDowell34Front Row Motorsports
19Chase Briscoe14Stewart-Haas Racing
20Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas Racing
21Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway Racing
22Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas Racing
23Corey LaJoie7Spire Motorsports
24Ross Chastain42Chip Ganassi Racing
25Alex Bowman48Hendrick Motorsports
26BJ McLeod78Live Fast Motorsports
27Bubba Wallace2323XI Racing
28Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty Racing
29Anthony Alfredo38Front Row Motorsports
30Josh Bilicki52Rick Ware Racing
31Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway Racing
32Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty Racing
33Justin Haley77Spire Motorsports
34Ryan Ellis15Rick Ware Racing
35Quin Houff00StarCom Racing
36Cody Ware51Petty Ware Racing
37Chad Finchum66Motorsports Business Management
38David Starr13Motorsports Business Management
39Joey Gase53Rick Ware Racing
40Parker Kilgerman96Gaunt Brothers Racing





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