Brad Keselowski has won the pole position for Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the NASCAR Cup Series’ first race back after a two-week break. He leads a 1-2-3 sweep of Team Penske drivers in the top starting spots.
Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford will take the green flag first at Watkins Glen International, which is back on the schedule after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the series’ planned visit there in 2020. Keselowski is seeking the first road-course win of his Cup Series career.
Teammate Joey Logano is set to line up second in the No. 22 Ford, and Ryan Blaney is scheduled to start third in another Penske entry, the No. 12 Mustang.
Justin Allgaier, a three-time winner on road courses in the Xfinity Series, won the pole for Saturday’s Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 (4 p.m. ET, CNBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Austin Hill, the Camping World Truck Series’ most recent winner, is on the pole for Saturday’s United Rentals 176 (12:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota.
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.
|1||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|2||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|3||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|4||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|11||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|12||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|13||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|14||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|15||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|16||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|17||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|18||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|19||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|20||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|21||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|22||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|23||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|24||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|25||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|27||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|29||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|30||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|31||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|32||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|33||Kyle Tilley||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|34||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|36||James Davison||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|37||RC Enerson||15||Rick Ware Racing|
Practice and qualifying are tentatively scheduled for eight Cup Series races this year. Two races remain with Busch Pole Qualifying on the schedule — Aug. 15 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course and the season-ending championship race Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.