Kevin Harvick on Daytona road course pole with new lineup formula
Kevin Harvick will start first in the starting lineup for the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural race on the Daytona International Speedway road course Sunday.
Denny Hamlin will start second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto and Austin Dillon complete the top 10.
The rest of the top 20: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Ryan Newman, Christopher Bell, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace and Erik Jones. Other notables: Ryan Blaney (24th), Alex Bowman (27th).
STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start at the Daytona Beach road course
The lineup was set for the first time using a new formula based on three statistical categories: owner points position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.
The three are weighted and averaged to determine the starting order with points position counting 35 percent, finishing position at 50 percent and fastest race lap at 15 percent.
When the playoffs begin, playoff cars will fill the top starting positions, according to how many remain eligible for the championship. In the Round of 16, the top 16 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 12, the top 12 starting positions will be playoff cars, etc..
NASCAR previously had used a random draw to set most of its lineups since returning in May during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has eliminated practice and qualifying on most race weekends.
This will mark the second Busch pole award for Harvick, who also started first in the July 23 race at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona
Race Time: 3 p.m. ET Sunday
Track: Daytona International Speedway road course; Daytona Beach, Florida (14-turn, 3.61-mile layout)
Length: 65 laps, 235 miles
Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 15. Stage 2 ends Lap 30
TV coverage: NBC
Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)
Daytona Cup starting lineup: Click here for the starting lineup