After finishing first at Martinsville Speedway to reach the Championship 4, Chase Elliott will start first Sunday in the Cup Series season finale starting lineup at Phoenix Raceway.
Joey Logano, who won the March 8 race at Phoenix, will start second in search of his second Cup championship. Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, who also is seeking his second title, will start third in his No. 2 Ford.
Denny Hamlin, who is making his second consecutive championship appearance after winning at Phoenix a year ago in his No. 11 Toyota, will start fourth among the title-eligible drivers.
The 2020 championship will be awarded Sunday to the top finisher between Elliott, Logano, Keselowski and Hamlin in the 312-lap race at Phoenix.
Elliott, whose career best at Phoenix was a second three years ago, will be starting first on the 1-mile oval for the second consecutive race after winning the pole position in March.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver, whose No. 9 Camaro is the first Chevrolet in the Championship 4 since 2016, 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.
Since the end of the regular season, the remaining playoff cars 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.
After the four championship-eligible drivers in Sunday’s race, Ryan Blaney (who finished second this past Sunday at Martinsville) will start fifth, followed by Alex Bowman (sixth), Kurt Busch (seventh), Kyle Busch (eighth), Clint Bowyer (ninth in possibly the final start of his Cup career) and Aric Almirola (10th).
Jimmie Johnson, who is starting the last race of his full-time Cup career before moving to the NTT IndyCar Series, will start 26th.
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 Phoenix Cup starting lineup for Sunday.
NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway
Race time: 3 p.m. ET Sunday
Track: Phoenix Raceway; Avondale, Arizona (1-mile speedway)
Length: 312 laps (312 miles)
Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 75. Stage 2 ends Lap 190.
TV coverage: NBC
Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)
Next Truck race: Friday at Phoenix (150 laps, 150 miles), 8 p.m. ET on FS1
Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Phoenix (200 laps, 200 miles), 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN