NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Clint Bowyer heads up a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Stewart-Haas Racing

The 2019 postseason for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicks off Sunday, Sept. 15 with the South Point 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The playoff opener is at the 1.5-mile oval a second straight year as 16 drivers begin their multi-round quest for championship hardware. Three rounds and nine races stand in their way as they jostle for a spot in the Championship 4 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

 

The sport's low-horsepower aero duct package takes center stage once again six months after its debut at LVMS. The first race here back in March was inconsistent; competition was hot and heavy after restarts but then often left cars stuck in place during long green flag runs. Sunday’s race is a chance to see how far both teams and drivers have come with a handling package that’s expected to largely stay in place come 2020.

 

The title favorites most of the season have come from two teams: Ford’s Team Penske and Toyota's Joe Gibbs Racing. But Stewart-Haas Racing made a statement this weekend with all four of their cars qualifying 1-2-3-4 for the South Point 400. Three of those four are championship eligible including pole-sitter Clint Bowyer.

 

Just 39 cars and three unchartered teams showed up to qualify this weekend. That left one open spot on the 40-car grid as all drivers who made an attempt qualified for Sunday's race.

 

1. Clint Bowyer (P)

2. Daniel Suarez

3. Kevin Harvick (P)

4. Aric Almirola (P)

5. Kurt Busch (P)

6. Daniel Hemric

7. Austin Dillon

8. Chase Elliott (P)

9. Jimmie Johnson

10. Michael McDowell

11. David Ragan

12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

13. Denny Hamlin (P)

14. William Byron (P)

15. Kyle Larson (P)

16. Ryan Preece

17. Ryan Newman (P)

18. Brad Keselowski (P)

19. Alex Bowman (P)

20. Kyle Busch (P)

21. Paul Menard

22. Joey Logano (P)

23. Ryan Blaney (P)

24. Martin Truex Jr. (P)

25. Matt DiBenedetto

26. Erik Jones (P)

27. Ty Dillon

28. Chris Buescher

29. Matt Tifft

30. Landon Cassill (i)

31. Bubba Wallace

32. Ross Chastain (i)

33. Corey Lajoie

34. Garrett Smithley (i)

35. BJ McLeod (i)

36. JJ Yeley (i)

37. Reed Sorenson

38. Joe Nemechek (i)

39. Joey Gase (i)

 

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points
(P) – Playoff Driver

Failed to Qualify – None

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Bowyer's first pole of the season was only the third of his Cup Series career. The last time he started up front was way back in September 2007 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bowyer’s 10.6 average start this season is currently the best of his 14-year Cup career.
  • Daniel Suarez (2nd) had his best qualifying effort since winning the pole at Kentucky Speedway back in July.
  • Kevin Harvick (3rd) posted his 18th top-10 start in 27 attempts so far this season. Harvick has won three of the last seven Cup races.
  • Aric Almirola (4th) completed a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Stewart-Haas Racing in qualifying. It's the first time they’ve done that since Talladega last fall.
  • Kurt Busch (5th) was the fastest Chevrolet.
  • Daniel Hemric (6th) was the fastest rookie in the field. His lead over Ryan Preece in the Rookie of the Year race has shrunk to just 19 points.
  • Michael McDowell (10th) has his second top-10 start of the season and first since Chicagoland in June.
  • Denny Hamlin (13th) was the highest-qualifying Toyota. He’s led just 15 career laps at this track since joining the Cup Series full-time in 2006.
  • Erik Jones (26th) qualified the worst of all 16 playoff drivers.
  • JJ Yeley (36th) moves over to the No. 53 entry for Rick Ware Racing this week. He’ll drive a Ford.
  • Joe Nemechek (38th) is running his second Cup race in three weeks, driving the No. 27 for Premium Motorsports.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: South Point 400

Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas)

Date: Sunday, Sept.15

Time: 7:15 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN

Radio: PRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 267 laps (400 miles)

Stage 1: 80 Laps

Stage 2: 80 Laps

Final Stage: 107 Laps

 

PRE-LAS VEGAS NEWS

Kyle Larson gears up for his shot at the 2019 Cup Series championship, stopping by to chat Las Vegas Motor Speedway and more with Dustin Albino and Mike Neff in the Frontstretch Podcast.

Event Date: 
Sunday, September 15, 2019 - 19:00
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