Kevin Harvick will start from the Cup pole position at Las Vegas

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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 Last 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

Brad Keselowski will start from the Cup pole position at Bristol

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Team Penske drivers will control the front row of the starting lineup at Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s first-round finale in the NASCAR Cup playoffs.

Richmond Raceway winner Brad Keselowski will lead the field to the green flag, and teammate Joey Logano, who has notched back to back third-place finishes to open the playoffs, will start second. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick will form the second row.

Here are the starting positions for the rest of the 16 playoff drivers (in order): Austin Dillon (fifth), Chase Elliott (sixth), Denny Hamlin (seventh), Alex Bowman (eighth), Kyle Busch (ninth), Aric Almirola (10th), Clint Bowyer (11th), Cole Custer (12th), Kurt Busch (13th), Ryan Blaney (14th), William Byron (15th) and Matt DiBenedetto (16th).

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race

BY ROWClick here BY CAR NUMBERClick here

Based on the points and first-round victories, the top 12 drivers will advance to the second round after Saturday. Clint Bowyer currently occupies 12th in the standings with William Byron (trailing Bowyer by three points), Custer (-8), DiBenedetto (-25) and Blaney (-27) in danger of being eliminated.

Keselowski won the May 31 race at Bristol Motor Speedway after starting first at the 0.533-mile oval where he has three career Cup victories.

The No. 2 Ford driver, who will be starting first in a Cup race for the third 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.

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 16, the top 16 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 12, the top 12 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 Bristol Cup starting lineup for Saturday.

NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol 

Race time: 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tennessee (0.533-mile speedway)

Length: 500 laps (266.5 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 125. Stage 2 ends Lap 250.

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: Thursday at Bristol (200 laps, 106.6 miles), 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1

Next Xfinity race: Friday at Bristol (300 laps, 159.9 miles), 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Kevin Harvick will start from the Cup pole position at Richmond

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After finishing first in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway, Kevin Harvick will start first Saturday in the starting lineup for the middle race of the first round at Richmond Raceway.

Joey Logano will start second on the 0.75-mile oval, making it an all-Ford front row. The Chevrolets of Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman will form the second row.

Here are the starting positions for the rest of the 16 playoff drivers (in order): William Byron (fifth), Kyle Busch (sixth), Denny Hamlin (seventh), Kurt Busch (eighth), Brad Keselowski (ninth), Aric Almirola (10th), Clint Bowyer (11th), Chase Elliott (12th), Cole Custer (13th), Martin Truex Jr. (14th), Ryan Blaney (15th) and Matt DiBenedetto (16th).

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Federated Auto Parts 400

BY ROWClick here BY CAR NUMBERClick here

This will mark the third time that Harvick has led the field to the green flag in the past four races at Richmond, where NASCAR last raced Sept. 21, 2019.

Harvick also started on pole at Richmond in September 2018 and April 2019. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has three victories at the track, most recently on April 27, 2013.

Harvick, who will be starting first in a Cup race for the fourth 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.

Since the playoffs began at Darlington Raceway last week, playoff cars now fill the top starting positions, according to how many remain eligible for the championship. In the Round of 16, the top 16 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 12, the top 12 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 Richmond Cup starting lineup for Saturday.

NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond 

Race Time: 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Richmond Raceway; Richmond, Virginia (0.75-mile speedway)

Length: 400 laps (300 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 80. Stage 2 ends Lap 235.

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Friday at Richmond (250 laps, 187.5 miles), 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Thursday at Richmond (250 laps, 187.5 miles), 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Kevin Harvick will start from Cup pole position at Daytona; Truex is second

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After winning Sunday at Dover International Speedway, Kevin Harvick will be first in Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series starting lineup at Daytona International Speedway, the regular-season finale.

Martin Truex Jr. will start second, followed by Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola.

William Byron will start sixth, followed by Jimmie Johnson. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates are separated by four points in the battle for the final playoff spot in the 16-driver field. Matt DiBenedetto, who is ranked 15th and five points ahead of Byron, will start 15th.

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Cup finale at Daytona

BY ROW: Click here BY CAR NUMBER: Click here

Harvick was awarded the Busch Pole Award using a formula based on three statistical categories: owner points position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.

When the playoffs begin next week at Darlington Raceway, playoff cars will fill the top starting positions, according to how many remain eligible for the championship. In the Round of 16, the top 16 starting positions will be playoff cars; in the Round of 12, the top 12 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 most race weekends.

This will mark the third time Harvick has started first this season. The No. 4 Ford also led the field to the green flag at Kansas Speedway and the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Click here for the Daytona Cup starting lineup for Saturday.

NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona 

Race Time: 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday

TV: NBC

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Daytona Cup starting lineup: Click here for the starting lineup; click here by row; click here by car number

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Track: Daytona International Speedway; Daytona Beach, Florida (2.5-mile speedway)

Length: 160 laps (400 miles)

Next Xfinity race: Friday at Daytona (100 laps, 250 miles), 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Aug. 30 at Gateway (160 laps, 200 miles), 12 p.m. ET on FS1

Kevin Harvick close to clinching Cup regular-season title

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The Cup Series playoffs are nearly here and Kevin Harvick can clinch the the regular-season title early if things go right for him this weekend.

Only three races remain in the regular season and two of them will occur this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Harvick, who has six race wins this season, has an 118-point advantage over second place Denny Hamlin. To clinch the regular season championship – and the 15 playoff points that come with it – Harvick will either need to be 121 points ahead of second in the points standings following Saturday’s race at Dover or 61 points ahead of second following Sunday’s race.

More: NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings entering Dover

More: Dover weekend schedule

Entering Saturday’s race on the 1-mile track, 10 drivers have already locked themselves into the 16 driver playoff field through race wins.

Here are the Cup playoff clinching scenarios ahead of Saturday’s race (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

 

Clinch On Wins

The following 10 drivers have already clinched a top 30 spot in the points and with a win this weekend, they could clinch a playoff spot:

Aric Almirola (0 Wins, 682 Points, +434 Points Ahead of 31st)

Kurt Busch (0 Wins, 673 Points, +425 Points Ahead of 31st)

Kyle Busch (0 Wins, 652 Points, +404 Points Ahead of 31st)

Clint Bowyer (0 Wins, 618 Points, +370 Points Ahead of 31st

Matt DiBenedetto (0 Wins, 596 Points, +348 Points Ahead of 31st)

William Byron (0 Wins, 577 Points, +329 Points Ahead of 31st)

Jimmie Johnson (0 Wins, 552 Points, +304 Points Ahead of 31st)

Erik Jones (0 Wins, 542 Points, +294 Points Ahead of 31st)

Tyler Reddick (0 Wins, 520 Points, +272 Points Ahead of 31st)

Christopher Bell (0 Wins, 431 Points, +183 Points Ahead of 31st)

 

Clinch Top 30 and Wins

The next eight drivers attempting to clinch a spot in the top 30 in the driver standings will need help this weekend to accomplish the feat, but if they do and win the race, they will clinch a playoff spot.

Bubba Wallace (0 Wins, 412 Points, +164 Points Ahead of 31st)

Michael McDowell (0 Wins, 403 Points, +155 Points Ahead of 31st)

Chris Buescher (0 Wins, 403 Points, +155 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (0 Wins, 396 Points, +148 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ryan Newman (0 Wins, 396 Points, +148 Points Ahead of 31st)

John Hunter Nemechek (0 Wins, 343 Points, +95 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ty Dillon (0 Wins, 342 Points, +94 Points Ahead of 31st)

Matt Kenseth (0 Wins, 327 Points, +79 Points Ahead of 31st)

 

Impossible to Clinch

Even with a win, Corey LaJoie (0 Wins, 287 Points, +39 Points Ahead of 31st) would not clinch a top 30 spot, so he cannot clinch a playoff berth in the next race. If he can’t clinch a spot in the top 30 with a win, no winless driver below him in the standings could clinch either.