Skip to main content

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR's most famous race under the lights takes center stage Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 60th Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will mark the first time Thunder Valley's short track runs a race during the Cup Series postseason.

The championship field will be reduced from 16 to 12 through 500 laps at this high-banked, fast-paced oval. Just .533 miles in length, lap times here average under 15 seconds and contact can spark on-track fireworks in the blink of an eye. Track position is key as wrong place, wrong time can leave you swept up in somebody else’s mess in a heartbeat.

The playoff drivers don’t have to worry about qualifying at the back of the field, though. NASCAR's new rules dictate the worst any of them will start is 16th under the COVID-19 rules system. Once again, there will be no practice or on-track action for the Cup Series with the grid set by the lowest score from the metric outlined below.

25% of the metric will be the driver's finishing position from the previous race.

25% of the metric will be the owner's finishing position from the previous race.

35% of the metric will be the owner's current position in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings.

15% of the metric will be their fastest lap during the previous race.

Forty teams are entered this weekend for 40 spots on the grid. No one failed to qualify as the two "open" full-time entries of Gaunt Brothers Racing (No. 96) and MBM Motorsports (No. 66) were joined by Tommy Baldwin Racing (No. 7) and BJ McLeod Racing’s No. 78.

1. Brad Keselowski (P)

2. Joey Logano (P)

3. Martin Truex Jr. (P)

4. Kevin Harvick (P)

5. Austin Dillon (P)

6. Chase Elliott (P)

7. Denny Hamlin (P)

8. Alex Bowman (P)

9. Kyle Busch (P)

10. Aric Almirola (P)

11. Clint Bowyer (P)

12. Cole Custer (R) (P)

13. Kurt Busch (P)

14. Ryan Blaney (P)

15. William Byron (P)

16. Matt DiBenedetto (P)

17. Tyler Reddick (R)

18. Christopher Bell (R)

19. Matt Kenseth

20. Erik Jones

21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

22. Ryan Preece

23. Chris Buescher

24. Jimmie Johnson

25. Ryan Newman

26. Michael McDowell

27. Bubba Wallace

28. Ty Dillon

29. Daniel Suarez

30. Corey Lajoie

31. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

32. JJ Yeley (i)

33. Quin Houff (R)

34. Reed Sorenson

35. James Davison

36. Joey Gase (i)

37. Gray Gaulding (i)

38. Timmy Hill (i)

39. Josh Bilicki (i)

40. Garrett Smithley (i)

(P) – Playoff Driver

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points


  • Brad Keselowski (1st) will start up front for the second time this season. Both those poles have come at Bristol as he looks to sweep both races here for the first time in his Cup career.
  • Joey Logano (2nd) has started top 3 at every short track race this year (four starts). He’s on a streak of back-to-back top-5 finishes for the first time thus far in 2020.
  • Denny Hamlin (7th) is the defending race winner.
  • Cole Custer (12th) is the highest-qualifying rookie. Tyler Reddick (17th) and Christopher Bell (18th) make it three rookies inside the top 20.
  • JJ Yeley (32nd) replaces rookie Brennan Poole this week as Poole ran out of sponsorship for the Bristol race. He’ll move over from the No. 27 of Rick Ware Racing with backing from Thriv5.
  • Gray Gaulding (37th) replaces Yeley behind the wheel of the No. 27 with sponsorship from Panini America. It’s his 7th Cup start of the season.
  • Josh Bilicki (39th) returns to the track with part-time Tommy Baldwin Racing. Sponsorship comes from Insurance King as the team makes its 18th start of the season.
  • Garrett Smithley (40th) jumps behind the wheel of BJ McLeod’s Chevrolet, making its first start in Cup since Dover in August.


Race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, Tenn.)

Date: Saturday, September 19

TV: NBCSN, 7:30 p.m. ET


Distance: 500 laps (266.5 miles)

Stage 1: 125 Laps

Stage 2: 125 Laps

Final Stage: 250 Laps


Tyler Ankrum stops by to preview the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series playoffs before Frontstretch Podcast hosts Dustin Albino and Mike Neff turn their attention to the Cup Series Round of 16 finale at Bristol.