Back to News

September 22, 2021

Kyle Larson lands Busch Pole for Las Vegas playoff race

Kyle Larson has secured the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s South Point 400 (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

RELATED: Las Vegas weekend schedule | Cup Series standings

Larson — winner of the most recent NASCAR Cup Series event, at Bristol Motor Speedway — will start his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet from the first spot for the fourth time in the last six races. The 400-miler is the opening race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12.

Austin Cindric claimed the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 302 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the opening race in that circuit’s postseason. John Hunter Nemechek earned the No. 1 starting spot for Friday’s Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM) for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 opener.

Larson, Cindric and Nemechek are all the current points leaders in their respective series.

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 Saturday night’s Cup Series race below.

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

Practice and qualifying are tentatively scheduled for eight Cup Series races this year. Just one race remains with Busch Pole Qualifying on the schedule — the season-ending championship race Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.