NASCAR lineup at Las Vegas: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s playoff race without qualifying

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of Cup races in 2021.

Drivers’ starting positions for the South Point 400, the fourth race of the 2021 Cup Series playoffs and the first race in the Round of 12 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), were based on four factors:

  • Driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Team owner points ranking (35 percent)
  • Fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent)

NASCAR is conducting qualifying for just eight of the 36 Cup Series points-paying races in the 2021 season. Seven of those races have already been run; the one remaining race with qualifying is the season-ending Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway in November.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval.

MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Las Vegas?

Kyle Larson was awarded the pole position for Sunday’s race. He is the playoff points leader and coming off a win at Bristol in the last race of the Round of 16. The Hendrick Motorsports driver had two top-fives and three top-10s in the first three playoff races.

Next to him on the front row will be Martin Truex Jr., who won the middle race of the Round of 16 at Richmond. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver likewise had two top-fives and three top-10s in the Round of 16. 

MORE: NASCAR playoffs, explained

Per NASCAR’s playoff rules, the top 12 spots in Sunday’s field went to the 12 remaining playoff drivers, but the starting order was based on the mathematical formula NASCAR has used for the majority of its races this season.

NASCAR Cup playoff standings

Kyle Larson leads the playoff points standings as the Round of 12 begins. He’s 30 points clear of second-place driver Martin Truex Jr. Tied for third are Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, another five points back.

On the other end are the drivers below the Round of 8 cut line: Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell and Kevin Harvick. Logano is just one point behind eighth-place driver William Byron, however.

MORE: Harvick, Elliott clash during, after Bristol race

A playoff driver who wins a race in the Round of 12 automatically advances to the Round of 8. 

Pos. Driver Points
1 Kyle Larson 3059
2 Martin Truex Jr. 3029
3 Denny Hamlin 3024
4 Ryan Blaney 3024
5 Kyle Busch 3022
6 Chase Elliott 3021
7 Alex Bowman 3015
8 William Byron 3014
9 Joey Logano 3013
10 Brad Keselowski 3008
11 Christopher Bell 3005
12 Kevin Harvick 3002

NASCAR starting lineup at Las Vegas

NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the South Point 400. Thirty-eight cars were entered for the race. Playoff drivers are denoted by “P-” next to their names.

Start pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 P-Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
2 P-Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
3 P-William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
4 P-Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
5 P-Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6 P-Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 P-Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
8 P-Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
9 P-Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
10 P-Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
11 P-Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
12 P-Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
13 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
14 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
15 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
16 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
17 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
18 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
19 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
20 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
21 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
23 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
24 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
25 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
26 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
27 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
28 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
29 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
30 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
31 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
32 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
33 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
34 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
35 Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
36 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
37 Joey Gase 15 Rick Ware Racing
38 JJ Yeley 66 Motorsports Business Management

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