The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course at Daytona International Speedway was not defined by qualifying races, but by the mathematical formula adopted by the series last season amid the pandemic COVID-19.
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 races of Duel qualification during the Speedweeks.
Below is the start list for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the Daytona 3.61-mile road course and how it was set without qualifying.
Who won pole for the NASCAR race at Daytona?
After the numbers were tight, Chase Elliott found himself on pole ahead of Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell, who will start second. Elliott finished second in the Great American Race, a car length behind McDowell, but had better overall stats.
The full set of criteria, per NASCAR:
- Finish position of the driver from the previous race (25%)
- Finish position of the car owner from the previous race (25%)
- Team owner point ranking (35%)
- Fastest lap of the previous race (15%)
Elliott’s No.9 Hendrick Motorsports car is two points ahead of McDowell’s No.34 Front Row Motorsports car in the points standings thanks to the Daytona 500.
Elliott on pole is bad news for the other 39 drivers in the peloton: he won the last four road races of the Cup Series and was on the verge of winning the Clash exhibition on the Daytona route this month, until his car collided with Ryan Blaney’s car on the last corner.
The next NASCAR qualifying session will take place at the end of March, for the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
NASCAR start line at the Daytona Road Course
The starting line-up for Sunday’s race on the Daytona Road Course was determined using a NASCAR mathematical formula adopted at the end of the 2020 season. The same procedure for defining non-qualifying rosters should be used for the majority of races in 2021.
Formula produced this starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the Daytona Road Course:
|1.||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2.||Michael mcdowell||34||Motorsport in the front row|
|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|
|ten.||Bubba wallace||23||23XI Race|
|11.||Joey logano||22||Penske team|
|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||Penske team|
|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||ten||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|27.||Ryan blaney||12||Penske team|
|28.||Scott Heckert||78||Fast live motorsport|
|29.||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|30.||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|31.||Anthony Alfredo||38||Motorsport in the front row|
|32.||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood brothers racing|
|33.||Ryan newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|34.||AJ Allmendinger||16||Kaulig Racing|
|35.||Daniel Suarez||99||Track race|
|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||Motorsport business management|