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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts Salute to First Responders 400 at Richmond Raceway

Kyle Larson ties a career high by earning his third pole of the season at Richmond

The NASCAR Cup Series goes short track racing for the first time in four months with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. Sunday's event is one of just three races left in a regular season scheduled to wrap up at the end of the month.

Richmond’s length (3/4 mile) makes it a short track, but the oval often runs like an intermediate. Long green-flag runs are the norm here, not the exception and managing tire wear proves exceptionally important. Multiple grooves allow drivers to find a variety of racing lines that work for them, allowing good-handling cars to pass more easily with the sport’s new Next Gen chassis.

The April race had a mix of all those trends. Denny Hamlin won that one on strategy, erasing a miserable start to the season by pitting for an extra set of fresh tires. Hamlin made up over a single lap during a 137-lap run to the finish, passing William Byron for the final time with five laps to go. Hamlin and second-place Kevin Harvick sliced through traffic with new tires, an old school finish to a race that had just three caution flags for contact.

Hamlin will start third this time around, in good position to sweep the Richmond races but it’s reigning NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Larson who starts on the pole. Behind them, five drivers inside the top 10 have yet to win a race this season, a list that includes everyone from bubble driver Ryan Blaney to 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski.

Just 36 teams attempted the Richmond race, all of whom were guaranteed a spot in the field. That’s four short of the maximum Cup Series grid of 40 cars.

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

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

Qualifying Notes

  • Kyle Larson (first) earned his third NASCAR Cup Series pole of 2022, tying his career high for a single season. Larson is looking to end a 21-race winless streak that dates back to Auto Club Speedway in February.
  • Ross Chastain (second) tied his career-best Cup qualifying effort set at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month.
  • Denny Hamlin (third) was the best-qualifying Toyota after Chevrolets swept the front row. Hamlin also won the Richmond Cup race held here earlier this year.
  • Martin Truex Jr. (sixth) is the defending winner of this Richmond event. Truex has yet to win a race thus far in 2022.
  • Cole Custer (seventh) was the best-qualifying Ford driver. If Custer’s able to finish there, it would be his best result in Cup since the summer of 2020, his rookie season.
  • Brad Keselowski (eighth) earned his best starting spot since the season-opening Daytona 500.
  • Ty Gibbs (14th) remains in the No. 45 Toyota this week, subbing for Kurt Busch as he recovers from a concussion suffered at Pocono Raceway.
  • Todd Gilliland (16th) was the highest-qualifying rookie.
  • Landon Cassill (25th replaces Josh Bilicki behind the wheel of the Spire Motorsports No. 77 this week. The two drivers are each running a limited schedule in this car.
  • Kyle Busch (29th) had his worst qualifying effort at Richmond since 2018.

NASCAR Race Breakdown

Race: Federated Auto Parts 400
Track: Richmond Raceway (Richmond, Va.)
Date: Sunday, Aug. 14
TV: USA Network, 3 p.m. ET
Distance: 400 laps (300 miles)
Stage 1: 70 Laps
Stage 2: 160 Laps
Stage 3: 170 Laps

Pre-Race Preview

NASCAR driver-turned-analyst Kyle Petty stops by The Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen to chat about his new book, Swerve or Die, along with the latest NASCAR news and storylines. Then host Bryan Nolen along with Mike Bachmann come together to figure out which Cup drivers in a crowded field will rise above at Richmond and find themselves contending for the win.