The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of Cup races in 2021.
Drivers’ starting positions for the FireKeepers Casino 400 (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 eight Cup Series races in the 2021 season. Seven of those races have already been run; the one remaining race is the season-ending Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway in November.
Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on Michigan International Speedway’s 2-mile oval.
MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)
Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Michigan?
Kyle Larson was assigned the top spot based on NASCAR’s formula. He finished third in the previous race, the Verizon 200 at The Brickyard on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. He also took over the series points lead from Denny Hamlin with two regular-season races remaining.
Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott will join him on the front row. Elliott finished fourth at the Brickyard for his 11th top-five finish of the season. Larson leads all drivers with 13 top-fives.
The drivers on the playoff bubble will not be starting too close to the front. Kevin Harvick will roll off eighth, Tyler Reddick will start 14th and Austin Dillon will start 26th. Starting eighth may not matter a lot to Harvick, though, because he has won the last three races at Michigan.
Matt DiBenedetto will start fourth after his fifth-place run at Indy. A win is his ticket to the playoffs because he trails 16th-place Reddick by 145 points in the standings. DiBenedetto is also racing for a job after Wood Brothers Racing replaced him for the 2022 season with Harrison Burton.
NASCAR starting lineup at Michigan
NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway, the FireKeepers Casino 400. Thirty-seven cars were entered for the race.
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|4||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|6||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|11||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|12||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|13||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|14||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|15||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|16||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|17||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|18||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|19||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|20||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|21||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|22||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|23||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|24||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|25||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|27||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|29||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|30||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing|
|31||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|32||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|33||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|36||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|37||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|