The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway was established by applying the statistical formula that NASCAR is using for the majority of Cup races in 2021.
Drivers’ starting positions for the Hollywood Casino 400, the second round of the round of 16, and the eighth race of the 2021 Cup playoffs (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), were based on in four factors:
- Final position of the driver from the previous race (25 percent)
- Final position of car owner from previous race (25 percent)
- Team Owner’s Point Rating (35 percent)
- Fastest lap of the previous race (15 percent)
NASCAR is conducting qualifying for just eight of the 36 points-paying Cup Series races in the 2021 season. Seven of those races have already been raced; the only remaining qualifying race is Championship Race 4 which ends the season at Phoenix Raceway on November 7. NASCAR lowered the rating to limit time on the track and cut costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below is the starting lineup, which was established without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway.
Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Kansas?
Kyle Larson got pole for Sunday’s playoff race according to the NASCAR formula. The Hendrick Motorsports driver is coming off a victory in the opening round of 16 race at Texas Motor Speedway on October 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: Texas Playoff Race Results
More importantly, the victory automatically qualified him for the Championship 4 race. Larson will compete for the Cup Series championship on November 7 at Phoenix Raceway.
Ryan Blaney, who is second in the playoff standings, will start second on Sunday. The Penske team driver finished sixth at Texas in the first round of 16 race.
NASCAR Cup playoff standings
Kyle Larson is at the top of the standings, but he’s already in Championship 4 thanks to his win at Texas. That leaves three spots open and just two more races in Round 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 to come out heading into Sunday. He is behind Busch by eight points and Hamlin by nine.
MORE: Summary of the Elliott-Harvick Dispute
A playoff driver who wins a race in Round of 8 automatically qualifies for Championship Race 4 on November 7 at Phoenix Raceway.
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||4041|
x-Advance to the Championship race 4.
NASCAR starting lineup at Kansas
NASCAR used a mathematical formula to establish the starting lineup for Sunday’s playoff race at Kansas Speedway, the Hollywood Casino 400. Forty cars were entered, giving the race a full field. Playoff drivers are indicated with a “P” next to their names.
Under NASCAR playoff rules, the top eight places on the field went to the remaining eight playoff drivers, but the starting order was based on the mathematical formula that NASCAR has used for most of its races this season.
|Pos. Start||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||P-Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||P-Ryan Blaney||12||Penske Team|
|3||P-Brad Keselowski||2||Penske Team|
|4||P-Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||P-Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||P-Denny Hamlin||eleven||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||P-Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||P-Joey Logano||22||Penske Team|
|9||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|10||Christopher bell||twenty||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|eleven||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|12||Tyler reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|13||Kurt busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14||Austin dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|fifteen||Matt DiBenedetto||twenty-one||Wood Brothers Racing|
|sixteen||Daniel Suarez placeholder image||99||Trackhouse racing|
|17||Erik jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|18||Michael McDowell||3. 4||Front row motorsports|
|19||Chase briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|twenty||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|twenty-one||Chris buescher||17||Roush Fenway racing|
|22||Cole custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Corey lajoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|24||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|25||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|26||BJ McLeod||78||Live fast motor sports|
|27||Bubba wallace||23||23XI Races|
|28||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|29||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front row motorsports|
|30||Josh bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|31||Ryan newman||6||Roush Fenway racing|
|32||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|33||Justin haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|3. 4||Ryan ellis||fifteen||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||what houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|36||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|37||Chad finchum||66||Business Management of Motorsports|
|38||David starr||13||Business Management of Motorsports|
|39||Joey gas||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|40||Parker Kilgerman||96||Gaunt Brothers careers|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.