NASCAR lineup at Daytona: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s road course race without qualifying

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona International Speedway road course was set not through qualifying runs but on the mathematical formula the series adopted last season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drivers were assigned their starting positions for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona (3 p.m. ET; Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) based on how they finished in the Daytona 500 and the Duel qualifying races during Speedweeks.

Below is the starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the 3.61-mile Daytona road course and how it was set without qualifying.

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Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Daytona?

After the numbers were crunched, Chase Elliott ended up on the pole ahead of Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell, who will start second. Elliott finished second in the Great American Race, one car length behind McDowell, but had better overall stats. 

The complete set of criteria, per NASCAR:

  • 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) 

Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 car is two points ahead of McDowell’s Front Row Motorsports No. 34 car in the point standings through the Daytona 500.

Elliott being on the pole is bad news for the other 39 drivers in the field: He has won the past four Cup Series road races and was poised to win the Clash exhibition on the Daytona course this month until his car collided with Ryan Blaney’s car in the final turn.

NASCAR’s next qualifying session will be in late March, for the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR starting lineup at Daytona Road Course

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race on the Daytona Road Course was determined through a mathematical formula NASCAR adopted late in the 2020 season. The same procedure for setting lineups without qualifying is set to be used for the majority of races in 2021.

The formula produced this starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the Daytona Road Course:

Pos. Driver Car No. Team
1. Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
2. Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
3. Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
4. Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
5. Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6. Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
7. Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
8. Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
9. Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
10. Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
11. Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
12. Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
13. Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
14. Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
15. Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
17. Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
18. Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
19. Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
20. Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
21. Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
22. William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
23. Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
24. Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
25. Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
26. Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
27. Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
28. Scott Heckert 78 Live Fast Motorsports
29. Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
30. Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
31. Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
32. Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
33. Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
34. AJ Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
35. Daniel Suarez 99 TrackHouse Racing
36. Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
37. Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
38. Ty Dillon 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing
39. James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
40. Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management

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