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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Atlanta qualifying rained out, putting Chase Elliott on the pole.

The second half of the NASCAR Cup Series season begins this weekend with the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's just the second Cup race after renovations at the track which included a full repave and a narrowing of the racing groove.

As a result of all the changes, teams ran the pack racing package for the Next Gen chassis in March and will remain with that setup through at least this July event. Once one of the sport’s most abrasive tracks, tire wear is no longer much of an issue. Instead, track position within the pack has gained greater importance as drivers look to maneuver inside the draft.

Rain washed out Atlanta qualifying Saturday, forcing NASCAR to set the field utilizing their qualifying metric. First adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, each driver in the field is given a total number based on the following breakdown:

  • 50 percent of the metric is their finishing position from the previous race (split between a team’s driver and owner).
  • 35 percent of the metric is the team’s current position in the NASCAR Cup Series owner point standings.
  • 15 percent of the metric is their fastest lap during the previous race.

Based on the metric, Chase Elliott will start out front at his hometown track for the third time in the last five Atlanta races. He has yet to win here, finishing sixth in the spring while Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron took the checkered flag.

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Only 36 cars showed up to attempt the Quaker State 400, four less than a full 40-car grid. None of the unchartered teams attempted this race; since the Coca-Cola 600, only once has the field expanded beyond the 36 guaranteed a starting spot.

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

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

Qualifying Notes

  • Chase Elliott (first) is out front for the second straight week after winning the pole at Road America last weekend.
  • Ross Chastain (second) has his first top-5 starting spot of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
  • Tyler Reddick (fourth) was last week’s winner at Road America. He’s the fifth first-time Cup winner this season, tying a NASCAR record.
  • Austin Cindric (fifth) was the highest-qualifying rookie. Cindric, also the top Ford driver for this race, won February’s Daytona 500.
  • Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) will start the highest of six Toyotas in the field. Truex has still never won a pack race during his Cup career.
  • William Byron (13th) won the Atlanta Cup race held in March.
  • Noah Gragson (29th) replaces AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. Gragson is running a limited schedule for the Cup team this season while pursuing a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship with JR Motorsports.
  • Garrett Smithley (33rd) replaces Joey Hand behind the wheel of the Rick Ware Racing Ford. It’s his first Cup event since Phoenix Raceway in March.
  • BJ McLeod (35th) replaces Kyle Tilley behind the wheel of the Live Fast Motorsports Ford. Tilley is just running a handful of road course races for the team, co-owned by McLeod himself.
  • Landon Cassill (36th) replaces Josh Bilicki in the Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. It’s Cassill’s first start in the car since Darlington as he and Bilicki are splitting the ride this season.

Related: Best Atlanta Motor Speedway Drivers for DraftKings

NASCAR Race Breakdown: Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (Hampton, Ga.)
Date: Sunday, July 10
TV: USA Network, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 260 laps (400 miles)
Stage 1: 60 Laps
Stage 2: 100 Laps
Stage 3: 100 Laps

Pre-Race Preview

The Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen welcomes Cole Custer from Stewart-Haas Racing to talk about his up-and-down 2022 Cup Series season. Does Custer think he can get a victory before the year is out? Plus, guest Michael Finley talks the Camping World SRX Series and picks out a couple of favorites for this weekend’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.