The starting lineup and pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway were set by the same procedure that has determined the starting order for all Cup Series races in 2020 that have run without prior qualifying sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The starting grid for Sunday’s race at Kentucky, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on FF1, features a Toyota on the pole followed by a handul of Fords as a result of the procedure that utilizes a combination of points standings and a random draw to set the lineup.
As for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on finishing positions from the series’ previous race, followed by new entries in order of points. So Brickyard 400 winner Kevin Harvick had the first pit stall selection for Sunday’s at Kentucky and chose the No. 2 stall (because No. 1 was not available).
Below is the starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Kentucky and how it was set.
Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Kentucky?
Though he remains winless through the first 16 races of 2020, defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch will have a good chance to end his drought after he starts Sunday’s race at Kentucky from the pole.
In nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky, Busch has two wins, seven top fives and eight top 10s. He barely finished second to his brother Kurt at Kentucky last season.
Starting behind Busch in the second row (third place) will be the hottest driver in the series. Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings by 85 points over second-place Chase Elliott, but Harvick has never won at Kentucky.
Joey Logano will roll off second Sunday. Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman — fourth and fifth, respectively — round out the top five starting positions.
Below is the protocol for how the Cup Series field was set at Pocono:
NASCAR starting lineup at Kentucky
The same protocol that set the lineup for Sunday’s Kentucky race will be used for all NASCAR Cup Series races that are not preceded by a qualifying session. As of now, there is no word on whether any of the races left on the 2020 schedule will feature qualifying.
NASCAR is proceeding without qualifying and practice sessions prior to races in an effort to limit time spent at the track amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for Sunday’s race at Kentucky, the draw for the starting lineup took place Wednesday. Below are the results:
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