NASCAR Starting Lineup for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts at Richmond Raceway

Pole sitter Kevin Harvick seeks a career-high ninth NASCAR Cup win of 2020

Richmond Raceway kicks off the short track portion of the NASCAR Cup Series playoff schedule. A record three of the 10 postseason races will be held at tracks less than one mile, including Richmond and Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend to complete the Round of 16.

 

It's the first trip this season for NASCAR to this .75-mile track in central Virginia; the April edition of this race was canceled because of COVID-19. With no practice and qualifying due to the sport's pandemic rules, teams will draw from a blank slate as the 2019 races here ran an old handling package.

 

The hope is that NASCAR's new short track setup, which has livened up racing at Bristol, will do the same for a facility that's been a snoozer in recent years. (Last year's two Richmond events featured a grand total of 14 lead changes; last week's Southern 500 alone had 18.) Richmond's wide racing groove can allow for plenty of side-by-side competition as long as aerodynamics play a limited role and there’s some degree of tire falloff.

 

The starting lineup, as it will during all the playoff races, was set due to the metrics below. Note the 16 drivers eligible for the championship automatically start in the top 16 no matter where they finished last Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

 

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.

 

Thirty-eight (38) teams are entered this weekend for 40 spots on the grid. The two full-time entries of Gaunt Brothers Racing (No. 96) and MBM Motorsports (No. 66) were the only "open" teams to make the trip.

 

1. Kevin Harvick (P)

2. Joey Logano (P)

3. Austin Dillon (P)

4. Alex Bowman (P)

5. William Byron (P)

6. Kyle Busch (P)

7. Denny Hamlin (P)

8. Kurt Busch (P)

9. Brad Keselowski (P)

10. Aric Almirola (P)

11. Clint Bowyer (P)

12. Chase Elliott (P)

13. Cole Custer (R) (P)

14. Martin Truex Jr. (P)

15. Ryan Blaney (P)

16. Matt DiBenedetto (P)

17. Erik Jones

18. Jimmie Johnson

19. Matt Kenseth

20. Michael McDowell

21. Ryan Newman

22. Tyler Reddick (R)

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24. Ryan Preece

25. Chris Buescher

26. Christopher Bell (R)

27. Ty Dillon

28. Daniel Suarez

29. Brennan Poole (R)

30. Bubba Wallace

31. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

32. JJ Yeley (i)

33. Quin Houff (R)

34. Corey Lajoie

35. Reed Sorenson

36. Joey Gase (i)

37. Timmy Hill (i)

38. James Davison

 

(P) – Playoff Driver

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Kevin Harvick (1st) earned his third pole position in the last six Cup Series races. He’s seeking a career-high ninth win of the season, a total which would set a NASCAR single-season record for any driver age 44 or older.
  • Joey Logano (2nd) has the best average start of any NASCAR Cup driver this season at 7.1.
  • Austin Dillon (3rd) earned just his second top-5 start of the season and first since Pocono Raceway at the end of June.
  • Alex Bowman (4th) has back-to-back top-5 starts.
  • Kyle Busch (6th) got his best starting spot on an oval track since New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the beginning of August.
  • Cole Custer (13th) is the highest-qualifying rookie.
  • Martin Truex Jr. (14th) swept both Richmond Cup races in 2019.
  • Reed Sorenson (35th) is scheduled to run the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet this week, his first time running the car since the Dover International Speedway doubleheader last month.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Federated Auto Parts 400

Track: Richmond Raceway (Richmond, Va.)

Date: Saturday, Sept. 12

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

Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 laps (300 miles)

Stage 1: 80 Laps

Stage 2: 155 Laps

Final Stage: 165 Laps

 

PRE-RACE PREVIEW

Matt DiBenedetto stopped by the Frontstretch podcast to talk about his first-time NASCAR Cup Series playoff appearance before hosts Dustin Albino and Mike Neff turned their attention to this weekend’s action at Richmond Raceway.

Event Date: 
Sunday, September 6, 2020 - 18:00
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