For the second time after a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Kevin Harvick will start first Sunday in the starting lineup for the Round of 12 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch, who finished second to Harvick last Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, will start second in pursuit of his first victory this season. Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola will form the second row.
Here are the starting positions for the rest of the 12 playoff drivers (in order): Joey Logano (fifth), Clint Bowyer (sixth), Austin Dillon (seventh), Alex Bowman (eighth), Kurt Busch (ninth), Denny Hamlin (10th), Martin Truex Jr. (11th) and Brad Keselowski (12th).
STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the South Point 400
Harvick, who will be starting first in a Cup race for the fifth time this season, was awarded the Busch Pole Award using a formula based on four statistical categories: owner points position, the driver’s finish, team owner’s finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.
Harvick also started first at Richmond (and finished seventh) after winning the playoff opener at Darlington Raceway. This will be the second Cup race that Harvick has started on the pole at Las Vegas, where he has two victories.
Since the end of the regular season, playoff cars now fill the top starting positions, according to how many remain eligible for the championship. In the Round of 12, the top 12 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 8, the top eight starting positions will be playoff cars, etc..
NASCAR previously had used a random draw to set most of its lineups since returning in May during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has eliminated practice and qualifying on nearly all race weekends.
Click here for the Las Vegas Cup starting lineup for Sunday.
NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas
Race time: 7 p.m. ET, Sunday
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas, Nevada (1.5-mile speedway)
Length: 267 laps (400.5 miles)
Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 80. Stage 2 ends Lap 160.
TV coverage: NBCSN
Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)
Next Truck race: Friday at Las Vegas (134 laps, 201 miles), 9 p.m. ET on FS1
Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Las Vegas (200 laps, 300 miles), 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN