NASCAR is back and gearing up for racing under new guidelines! Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway is still on schedule for this coming Sunday, and NASCAR is doing everything they can to complete the race as safely as possible.
A random draw will play a role in determining the starting lineup for Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The starting lineup for Darlington will be set by owner points and a random draw. NASCAR has not determined when the draw will take place but it is expected to be before Sunday.
First, positions 1-12 will be set by a random draw from teams in those positions in owner points.
Basically what that means is that Kevin Harvick, whose team ranks first in car owner points, is no longer guaranteed to start on the pole. His team could either draw the No. 1 spot, or they could sink as low as the No. 12 spot. Kyle Busch is currently 12th in car owner points. If he’s lucky, he could end up starting on the pole based on the random draw.
Those in the top 12 in car owner points are (in order from first): Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
The other starting lineup positions will be laid out as such:
Positions 13-24 will be set by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points (Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Cole Custer and Corey LaJoie).
Positions 25-36 will be set by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points (Ty Dillon, Tyler Reddick, John Hunter Nemechek, Michael McDowell, JJ Yeley, Brennan Poole, Reed Sorenson, Garrett Smithley, Christopher Bell, Ryan Preece, Joey Gase and Quin Houff).
Positions 37-40 will be for non-chartered teams based in order of owner points. Those drivers are Daniel Suarez, Timmy Hill, Josh Bilicki and BJ McLeod.
Pit stalls will be picked in order based on charter team owner points followed by non-chartered team owner points. Harvick’s team will have the first choice of pit stalls since it is first in car owner points. NASCAR also announced changes to the competition caution for Sunday’s Darlington race. The changes are being made since teams will not have any practice or qualifying before the race. This will give teams extra time to make needed adjustments.
Now here’s where it gets a little confusing…
When pit road is open, only the current top 20 cars will be allowed to pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. On the next lap, the other 20 cars will pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. Then, the top 20 cars will be allowed to pit a second time. On the next lap, the other 20 cars will be allowed to pit again. After the second cycle for each team is completed, the lineup will be set and the race will resume. Got it (sigh)?
The last time NASCAR raced was March 8th in Phoenix, where Joey Logano came out on top. There have been ten races cancelled due to covid-19, including the All-Star races. Even though there won’t be any fans at Darlington Raceway, the racing world is eager to get things going again.