NASCAR Southern 500: Starting Lineup, Pole and Everything to Know

by Keeli Parkey

Get ready racing fans! What is sure to be exciting day on the NASCAR track is headed to Darlington this weekend!

According to NBC Sports, the upcoming Southern 500 will take place on Sunday, Sept. 5. The flag is scheduled to drop at 6 p.m. Darlington Raceway in South Carolina plays host to the first playoff race. You can watch the action on NBCSN.

Also, what makes this weekend’s upcoming competition even more special is that it is the first race in the playoffs. So, which of your favorite racers will be leading the pack when the race gets underway on Sunday?

Well, there are a few factors that have gone into play for this NASCAR race.

“The Southern 500 starting lineup is set by using a formula based on four statistical categories: owner points position, owner final race position, and the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race,” NBC Sports also reported. “Performance Metrics Qualifying is a formula based on the previous race. The formula is 15 percent of a fastest lap time position, 25 percent of the driver’s final race finish position, 25percent of the owner’s final race position and 35 percent of the owner points position. Any ties will be broken by the rule book.”

Ryan Blaney Will Start In the Pole Position for NASCAR’s Southen 500

Unsurprisingly, it will be Ryan Blaney who will be sitting on the pole at the start of the race. Blaney is on a hot streak these days. He will go into Sunday’s Southern 500 having won two NASCAR races in a row. Most recently, he was the winner at Daytona. In the race before that, he came away with a victory in Michigan.

Starting next to Ryan Blaney in the front row at the Southern 500 on Sept. 5 at Darlington will be Denny Hamlin. Also, starting in the third position will be Kurt Busch. Hendrick Motorsports will have control of the next starting spots in his first playoff race. The team’s drivers Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson, will start the race in spots four, five, and six respectively.

Also starting the race in Darlington is spots seven through 16 will be (in order from seven and up): Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, William Byron, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski.

The drivers starting the race in spots one through 16 on Sunday are those who have qualified for the NASCAR playoffs. Just missing out on a spot in the playoffs was popular NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. He will begin Sunday’s race in Darlington in the 17th spot. Also, that puts him ahead of all the drivers who are not competing in the playoffs.

The rest of the race lineup includes, in order from the 18th spot to the last spot, Ryan Preece, Ryan Newman, Justin Haley, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Corey LaJoie, Daniel Suarez, BJ McLeod, Josh Bilicki, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Matt DiBenedetto, Cole Custer, Anthony Alfredo, Cody Ware, Chris Buescher, Joey Gase, James Davison, and Quin Houff.