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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series Starting Lineup for the DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway

Chris Buescher earns his first career NASCAR Cup Series pole

The  DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway marks the first and only trip to the one-mile oval for the NASCAR Cup Series this season. Dover, guaranteed two dates on the schedule for nearly 50 years, was reduced to one race starting in 2021 as the now-former track owners transferred its second date to newly-renovated Nashville Superspeedway.

Now, the Monster Mile is part of the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family following an offseason purchase. SMI President and CEO Marcus Smith is looking to revitalize the racetrack’s attendance figures while the Next Gen chassis plus a recent Goodyear tire test both hope to inject some additional side-by-side competition.

Early returns are promising as Saturday’s practice was a challenge. Five different drivers had single-car incidents, with four of them unable to recover in time to make a qualifying attempt: Josh Bilicki, Harrison Burton, William Byron and Todd Gilliland.

In the end, there was a surprise pole winner, Chris Buescher taking the top spot for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing for the team’s first pole position since Brad Keselowski bought into the organization this past offseason. Denny Hamlin, enduring the worst start of his Cup career despite a victory earlier this year at Richmond Raceway, will start alongside as several more successful teams will need to race from far back in the field.

Just 36 cars chose to attempt the Dover race, leaving the field four short of a 40-car grid. The 36 entered are all guaranteed a spot in the field anyway due to the sport’s franchise system. Among those missing this week from the Cup race are the part-time efforts of NY Racing, Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team Racing, and MBM Motorsports.

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1. Chris Buescher
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kyle Larson
4. Chase Elliott
5. Ryan Blaney
6. Alex Bowman
7. Ross Chastain
8. Daniel Suarez
9. Bubba Wallace
10. Kyle Busch
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Austin Cindric (R)
13. Ryan Preece (i)
14. Justin Haley
15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
16. Kurt Busch
17. Christopher Bell
18. Martin Truex Jr.
19. AJ Allmendinger (i)
20. Brad Keselowski
21. Corey LaJoie
22. Joey Logano
23. Chase Briscoe
24. Austin Dillon
25. Erik Jones
26. Tyler Reddick
27. Aric Almirola
28. Cody Ware
29. Michael McDowell
30. Cole Custer
31. Ty Dillon
32. BJ McLeod
33. William Byron
34. Todd Gilliland (R)
35. Harrison Burton (R)
36. Josh Bilicki (i)

(R) – Rookie
(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

Qualifying Notes

  • Chris Buescher (first) won his first pole position in 233 career Cup starts. It’s the first time a Roush-owned car has earned the top spot outside of Daytona or Talladega in a Cup race since Texas Motor Speedway in the fall of 2013.
  • Denny Hamlin (second) was the highest-qualifying Toyota.
  • Chase Elliott (fourth) is the current Cup point leader. He remains winless in 10 starts this season and hasn’t won on an oval since Phoenix Raceway in November 2020.
  • Alex Bowman (sixth) is the defending race winner.
  • Austin Cindric (12th) was the highest qualifying rookie driver.
  • Ryan Preece (13th) replaces David Ragan behind the wheel of the Rick Ware Racing Ford. Preece, making his first Cup start of the year, is running a car this weekend supported by Stewart-Haas Racing with sponsorship from United Rentals. The SHR reserve driver will make at least one other start behind the wheel of the No. 15 this season.
  • AJ Allmendinger (19th) replaces Daniel Hemric in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. Allmendinger is sharing the car with Hemric and Daniel Gragson this season.
  • Josh Bilicki (36th) replaces Landon Cassill in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. Bilicki is running a limited schedule for the team this season.

Related: Best Dover Motor Speedway Drivers for DraftKings

NASCAR Race Breakdown

Race: DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne
Track: Dover Motor Speedway (Dover, Del.)
Date: Sunday, May 1
TV: FS1, 3  p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 laps (400 miles)
Stage 1: 120 Laps
Stage 2: 130 Laps
Final Stage: 150 Laps

Pre-Race Preview

On the Frontstretch Podcast, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo stops by to chat about the Our Motorsports expansion and his better-than-expected start to the 2022 season following a rough rookie year in the Cup Series. Then, host Davey Segal turns his attention to the Monster Mile of Dover Motor Speedway and what might unfold over 400 laps in the Cup Series.

Don't forget about Athlon Sports' 2022 Racing magazine. With 144 pages of racing content, it's the most complete preview available today. Click here to get your copy or purchase the digital edition for instant access.