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March 17, 2021

Denny Hamlin wins Busch Pole Award for Atlanta; see full lineup

Denny Hamlin has won the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hamlin, the series points leader, will start his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota from the pole position.

Defending Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric won the pole for Saturday’s EchoPark 250 (5 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, and John Hunter Nemechek is on the pole for Saturday’s Fr8Auctions 200 (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Cindric and Nemechek are the most recent winners in their respective series.

RELATED: Atlanta weekend schedule | 2021 Cup Series standings

As NASCAR adapted to COVID-19 protocols last season, practice and qualifying were eliminated at a majority of national-series events to limit at-track time, exposure and to cut race weekend costs. To determine starting lineups, competition officials used grouped draws, added inversions for weekend doubleheaders, and eventually adopted a performance-metrics formula. That metrics format remains in place this season, drawing on performance from both individual races and season-long results.

NASCAR’s metrics formula for 2021 weighs:

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

See the full lineup for Sunday’s Cup Series race below.

Start pos.
Driver Car # Team
1 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
4 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
5 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
6 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
7 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
8 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
9 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
10 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
11 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
13 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
14 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
15 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
16 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
17 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
18 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
19 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
21 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
22 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
23 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
24 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
25 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing Team
26 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
27 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
28 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
29 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
30 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
31 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
32 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
33 Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
34 James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
35 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
36 Joey Gase 53 Rick Ware Racing
37 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
38 Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management
39 Austin Cindric 33 Team Penske

Practice and qualifying are tentatively scheduled for eight Cup Series races this year. Busch Pole Qualifying was held for the season-opening Daytona 500; the next race with time trials scheduled is the March 28 event at Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt track.