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October 6, 2021

Denny Hamlin to start on Busch Pole for Charlotte Roval playoff race

2021oct6 Denny Hamlin Pole

Denny Hamlin earned the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (2 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), an elimination race in the Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12.

RELATED: Charlotte Roval weekend schedule | Cup Series standings

Hamlin, locked into the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after his victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will start on pole for the fifth time in 2021 in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Austin Cindric will start on pole in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at the Charlotte Roval (3 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), an elimination race in the Xfinity Series Playoffs’ Round of 12.

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