Brad Keselowski to start on pole at Darlington after random draw

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Brad Keselowski will lead the field to green in Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway after he was awarded the pole in a random draw Thursday night at the NASCAR R&D Center.

He will be joined on the front row by Alex Bowman.

The race is NASCAR’s first event since March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ryan Newman, making his return after being injured in the Daytona 500 in February, will start 21st. Matt Kenseth, making his first start since the 2018 season finale, will start 12th in the 40-car field.

Typically, NASCAR sets the starting line by car owner points when it can’t run qualifying. That would have put Kevin Harvick on the pole. Harvick will start sixth with the draw. NASCAR officials added the draw for this event.

Darlington starting lineup:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Alex Bowman

3. Matt DiBenedetto

4. Kyle Busch

5. Aric Almirola

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Ryan Blaney

8. Jimmie Johnson

9. Joey Logano

10. Denny Hamlin

11.  Chase  Elliott

12. Matt Kenseth

13. Clint Bowyer

14. Cole Custer

15. Martin Truex Jr.

16. Austin Dillon

17. Bubba Wallace

18. William Byron

19. Corey LaJoie

20. Erik Jones

21. Ryan Newman

22. Kurt Busch

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24. Chris Buescher

25. Ryan Preece

26. Garrett Smithley

27. Quin Houff

28. Christopher Bell

29. Tyler Reddick

30. J.J. Yeley

31. Michael McDowell

32. Joey Gase

33. Ty Dillon

34. John Hunter Nemechek

35. Brennan Poole

36. Reed Sorenson

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill

39. B.J. McLeod

40. Josh Bilicki

Darlington Cup starting lineup

The format for setting the lineup was:

Positions 1-12 were set by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points.

Positions 13-24 were set by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points.

Positions 25-36 were set by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points.

Positions 37-40 will be for non-chartered teams based in order of owner points.