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

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.DriverPoints
1Kyle Larson3059
2Martin Truex Jr.3029
3Denny Hamlin3024
4Ryan Blaney3024
5Kyle Busch3022
6Chase Elliott3021
7Alex Bowman3015
8William Byron3014
9Joey Logano3013
10Brad Keselowski3008
11Christopher Bell3005
12Kevin Harvick3002

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.DriverCar No.Team
1P-Kyle Larson5Hendrick Motorsports
2P-Ryan Blaney12Team Penske
3P-William Byron24Hendrick Motorsports
4P-Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs Racing
5P-Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas Racing
6P-Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs Racing
7P-Alex Bowman48Hendrick Motorsports
8P-Brad Keselowski2Team Penske
9P-Joey Logano22Team Penske
10P-Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs Racing
11P-Chase Elliott9Hendrick Motorsports
12P-Christopher Bell20Joe Gibbs Racing
13Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress Racing
14Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers Racing
15Austin Dillon3Richard Childress Racing
16Erik Jones43Richard Petty Motorsports
17Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas Racing
18Ross Chastain42Chip Ganassi Racing
19Chase Briscoe14Stewart-Haas Racing
20Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi Racing
21Bubba Wallace2323XI Racing
22Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty Racing
23Michael McDowell34Front Row Motorsports
24Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty Racing
25Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway Racing
26Daniel Suarez99Trackhouse Racing
27Corey LaJoie7Spire Motorsports
28Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas Racing
29Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway Racing
30Garrett Smithley53Rick Ware Racing
31Josh Bilicki52Rick Ware Racing
32Anthony Alfredo38Front Row Motorsports
33Justin Haley77Spire Motorsports
34BJ McLeod78Live Fast Motorsports
35Cody Ware51Petty Ware Racing
36Quin Houff00StarCom Racing
37Joey Gase15Rick Ware Racing
38JJ Yeley66Motorsports Business Management