Denny Hamlin won the first race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Darlington Raceway last weekend, and it was also his first checkered flag of the season.
His performance at Darlington was enough to get him starting the next race on the front row, but not enough to win the pole for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders at Richmond Raceway on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Because of the challenges related to racing during the COVID-19 pandemic, most race weekends this season do not include practice or qualifying sessions. That goes for playoff races too, and the playoff drivers will start at the front of the field.
So without qualifying, NASCAR determines the starting lineup with a formula based on these factors:
- 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
- 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
- 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
- 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
Here’s a look at the starting lineup for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders.