Starting Lineup for Sunday's Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Joey Logano starts from the pole while Justin Allgaier replaces a COVID-19 positive Jimmie Johnson

The NASCAR Cup Series marks a new Independence Day Weekend tradition on Sunday with the 2020 Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's just the second time since Daytona International Speedway was built in 1959 stock cars have spent this holiday weekend away from the Florida beaches.

 

Instead, NASCAR's swapping out their Super Bowl superspeedway with the mecca of open-wheel oval competition. After years of flagging attendance and interest surrounding their stop at the 2.5-mile track in Indiana, stock car racing hopes a holiday weekend injects fresh energy into what remains one of their sport’s crown jewel events.

 

But any boost in popularity will come without one of NASCAR's big-name drivers in the starting lineup. Friday night, it was announced seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will not compete after testing positive for COVID-19. It's the first event Johnson will watch from the sidelines since moving up to the Cup level full-time in 2002.

 

Justin Allgaier will take Johnson's place, although it's uncertain where he'll start. For now, he remains fourth on this list despite it being the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular's first Cup start since 2016. NASCAR's qualifying draw system, in lieu of practice gives him a premo spot for now based on the No. 48 team's spot in owner points.

 

Here's a closer look at how the lineup was created under NASCAR’s COVID-19 system.

 

Positions 1-12 were drawn among teams ranked 1st through 12th in the owner standings.

Positions 13-24 were drawn among teams ranked 13th through 24th in the owner standings.

Positions 25-36 were drawn among charter teams only (guaranteed spots on the grid) ranked 25th hrough 36th in owner points.

Positions 37-40 were set by owner points among the four “open” teams who must race in on speed every time out.

 

Forty teams were entered for 40 spots on the grid, meaning everyone who entered made the race. Joey Logano took the pole for Team Penske as he seeks his first career victory at Indianapolis.

 

1. Joey Logano

2. Kurt Busch

3. Alex Bowman

4. Jimmie Johnson*

5. Aric Almirola

6. Denny Hamlin

7. Kyle Busch

8. Martin Truex Jr.

9. Brad Keselowski

10. Chase Elliott

11. Kevin Harvick

12. Ryan Blaney

13. Tyler Reddick (R)

14. Ryan Newman

15. Matt DiBenedetto

16. Austin Dillon

17. Bubba Wallace

18. William Byron

19. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

20. Chris Buescher

21. Matt Kenseth

22. Clint Bowyer

23. Erik Jones

24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

25. Joey Gase (i)

26. Brennan Poole (R)

27. Michael McDowell

28. Garrett Smithley (i)

29. Ty Dillon

30. Cole Custer (R)

31. Corey Lajoie

32. Ross Chastain

33. Quin Houff (R)

34. JJ Yeley (i)

35. Christopher Bell (R)

36. Ryan Preece

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill (i)

39. Josh Bilicki (i)

40. BJ McLeod (i)

 

*Justin Allgaier will replace Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel of the No. 48.

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • It's the first pole of the season for Logano and his first at Indianapolis.
  • Kurt Busch (2nd) has his best starting spot since drawing the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Justin Allgaier (4th) will run his first Cup Series race since August 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He replaces a COVID-19 positive Jimmie Johnson; Johnson will remain playoff eligible once he's medically cleared.
  • Tyler Reddick (13th) drew the highest starting spot among rookies.
  • Ross Chastain (32nd) returns to the No. 77 of Spire Motorsports for the first time since the Coca-Cola 600 in May, replacing James Davison. Melon Man Brand has signed on as primary sponsor in a one-race deal.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Date: Sunday, July 5

Time: 4:24 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 4 p.m. ET

Radio: IMS, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 160 laps (400 miles)

Stage 1: 50 Laps

Stage 2: 50 Laps

Final Stage: 60 Laps

 

PRE-RACE PREVIEW

Fresh off a third-place finish at Pocono Raceway, NASCAR Xfinity Series full-timer Jeremy Clements stops by to talk shop with Dustin Albino and Mike Neff on the Frontstretch podcast. The boys then turn their attention to a jam-packed weekend of NASCAR racing in Indianapolis.

Event Date: 
Sunday, July 5, 2020 - 16:00
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