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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway

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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway for the seventh annual Throwback Weekend. The Goodyear 400 scheduled for Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) on the historic 1.366-mile oval is the first of two trips the series will make to the South Carolina track this season.

Darlington will utilize the 750-horsepower, low-downforce package, which is different than the three races held at the speedway last season. This package is the same that was used at road courses and tracks one mile or shorter in length during 2020.

Last season, the series visited Darlington three times thanks to restrictions throughout the United States related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, who both have three wins apiece at the track, combined to win all three of those events with Harvick taking two and Hamlin winning one.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR has chosen to go without practice and qualifying this weekend. Instead, the field was set using a special metric calculated using the formula below.

50% of the metric is their finishing position from the previous race (split between driver and owner).

35% of the metric is the team's current position in the NASCAR Cup Series owner point standings.

15% of the metric is their fastest lap during the previous race.

The team with the lowest total starts on the pole, then the next lowest, etc. until all available spots are filled. It's the best compromise NASCAR could make while attempting to limit each team's at-track time during the pandemic.

Thirty-seven cars entered the Darlington race, leaving the field three short of a full 40 cars. The 36 teams who have guaranteed charter spots are entered along with the "open" car: the No. 37 of JTG Daugherty Racing (Ryan Preece).

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Kyle Busch

4. Martin Truex Jr.

5. William Byron

6. Chase Elliott

7. Denny Hamlin

8. Matt DiBenedetto

9. Austin Dillon

10. Tyler Reddick

11. Chris Buescher

12. Joey Logano

13. Michael McDowell

14. Kyle Larson

15. Daniel Suarez

16. Ryan Blaney

17. Kurt Busch

18. Ross Chastain

19. Alex Bowman

20. Ryan Newman

21. Christopher Bell

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22. Chase Briscoe (R)

23. Bubba Wallace

24. Cole Custer

25. Anthony Alfredo (R)

26. Erik Jones

27. Aric Almirola

28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

29. Ryan Preece

30. Corey LaJoie

31. Justin Haley (i)

32. BJ McLeod (i)

33. Cody Ware (i)

34. JJ Yeley (i)

35. Quin Houff

36. James Davison

37. Josh Bilicki

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Brad Keselowski (pole) starts up front for the third time this season. He also earned the pole at Phoenix Raceway in March and last weekend at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski will make his 425th Cup Series start this weekend and will become the eighth active driver with 425 or more starts in the series.
  • Kevin Harvick (2nd) is the highest-qualifying Ford driver. He won two of the Cup Series' three visits to Darlington last season. While 2021 hasn't been a bad season for the No. 4 team, Harvick already had two wins to his name at this point last year.
  • Kyle Busch (3rd) is fresh off of his first win this season at Kansas last weekend. The two-time champion has a single win at Darlington dating back to 2008, but he's also finished in the top 10 eight times in his last 10 starts at the track.
  • Martin Truex Jr. (4th) remains as the only driver who's won multiple races this season (Phoenix Raceway and Martinsville Speedway). He won at Darlington in 2016 but averaged a 12th-place finish in three races last season.
  • Tyler Reddick (10th) will make his 50th career Cup Series start this weekend. In 49 previous races, he boasts four top fives and 15 top 10s but has yet to find victory lane in his young career.
  • Erik Jones (26th) won the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational race at Virtual Darlington Raceway Wednesday night. The Next Gen cars revealed Wednesday made their virtual racing debut in that same race.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Goodyear 400

Track: Darlington Raceway (Darlington, S.C.)

Date: Sunday, May 9

TV: FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 293 laps (400.2 miles)

Stage 1: 90 Laps

Stage 2: 95 Laps

Final Stage: 108 Laps

— Written by Beth Lunkenheimer, who is the Content Director for NASCAR Web site Frontstretch.com. Find her on Twitter @NASCARBeth.