NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Everyone's Chasing Elliott as NASCAR's Most Popular Driver draws the pole position

NASCAR's Cup Series return from COVID-19 quarantine comes full circle with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Set for Sunday, it's a return to the 1.54-mile speedway whose March 13-15 race weekend was abruptly postponed. Crews and haulers traveled down to Georgia only to turn right back with a decision that sparked the sport's two-month coronavirus suspension.

 

This time, teams will return with picture-perfect conditions: 87-degree weather predicted for Sunday and just a 10 percent chance of rain. But the specter of the virus remains over a shortened race weekend that doesn't allow for a single lap of practice or qualifying.

 

Instead, once again the starting order was compiled through a random draw. Drivers were placed into one of four groups based on their charter status and their team’s position in owner points.

 

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 through 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 no one failed to qualify for this race. Chase Elliott drew the lucky number out of the first dozen drivers and will start from the pole position.

 

1. Chase Elliott

2. Aric Almirola

3. Joey Logano

4. Kyle Busch

5. Clint Bowyer

6. Brad Keselowski

7. Ryan Blaney

8. Alex Bowman

9. Kevin Harvick

10. Denny Hamlin

11. Martin Truex Jr.

12. Kurt Busch

13. Chris Buescher

14. Erik Jones

15. Jimmie Johnson

16. Austin Dillon

17. Ryan Newman

18. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

19. Matt Kenseth

20. William Byron

21. Matt DiBenedetto

22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

23. Bubba Wallace

24. Tyler Reddick (R)

25. Corey Lajoie

26. Joey Gase (i)

27. Christopher Bell (R)

28. Ty Dillon

29. Ryan Preece

30. JJ Yeley (i)

31. Cole Custer (R)

32. Josh Bilicki (i)

33. Brennan Poole (R)

34. Garrett Smithley (i)

35. Quin Houff (R)

36. Michael McDowell

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill (i)

39. BJ McLeod (i)

40. Reed Sorenson

 

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Chase Elliott (1st) has his first career Cup Series pole at his hometown track. (It's a 90-minute drive to Dawsonville). Elliott has a respectable track record here (10.5 average finish) but still hasn't led a lap at this track in four starts.
  • Aric Almirola (2nd) has now drawn back-to-back front-row starts. But he's yet to finish the job, still seeking his first top-5 finish of 2020.
  • Joey Logano (3rd) has six straight top-10 starts.
  • John Hunter Nemechek (18th) drew the best starting spot among rookies.
  • JJ Yeley (30th) moves back into the No. 77 of Spire Motorsports this week. It's his third start for that team this season.
  • Josh Bilicki (32nd) shifts into the No. 27 now owned by Rick Ware Racing. It's his first start for RWR in 2020 and third in Cup this season.
  • Garrett Smithley (34th) moves back into the No. 53, also owned by RWR, after Bayley Currey ran the car at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend.
  • Reed Sorenson (40th) returns to Tommy Baldwin Racing. It's his first start in Cup since Darlington last month, reuniting with a team he drove full-time for back in 2014.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (Hampton, Ga.)

Date: Sunday, June 7

Time: 3:25 p.m. ET

TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 325 laps (500.5 miles)

Stage 1: 105 Laps

Stage 2: 105 Laps

Final Stage: 115 Laps

 

PRE-RACE ANALYSIS

Dustin Albino and Mike Neff discuss NASCAR’s role in supporting the social injustice protests gripping the country. Then, they turn their attention to Atlanta with a full preview of Sunday’s action in the Frontstretch Podcast.

Event Date: 
Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 15:25
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