Kyle Larson opens the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 8 from the top of the driver standings after getting his seventh win of the season Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval. That race was the second elimination one of the playoffs, and the number of championship contenders dropped from 12 to eight.
The Round of 8 kicks off with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday (2 p.m. ET, NBC), followed by races at Kansas Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. And after the next three races, the playoff field will shrink again down to the final Championship 4 drivers, who will compete for the title at Phoenix Raceway in November.
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And after his latest win, Larson will start from the pole at Texas this weekend.
However, 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 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas.