In a standard NASCAR weekend, we wouldn’t know the starting lineup for the Cup Series race in the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday morning, as the qualifying laps typically take place on Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Friday’s inclement weather, however, yesterday’s Camping World Truck Series race was postponed, leading to a packed schedule in the Atlanta Motor Speedway today.
The schedule is so full, in fact, that NASCAR officials had no choice but to cancel the qualifying rounds for the Folds on Honor QuikTrip 500 altogether. Now, the qualifying rounds usually determine the starting lineup of the race. But, of course, NASCAR has a backup plan in place.
In response to COVID-19 restrictions, NASCAR created a formula to position the drivers that eliminated the need for qualifying rounds ahead of the 2020 season. Today, they’re putting that formula to use once again.
How NASCAR Determined the Starting Lineup in Atlanta
In lieu of qualifying sessions, NASCAR used three competition-based performance metrics to set the starting lineup in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The three metrics are: overall championship points position, the finish of the last race, and the fastest lap from the last race.
Each metric is weighted and averaged to determine the drivers’ starting position. Finishing position in the last race carries the most weight at 50 percent. Next is points positions, which carries a weight of 35 percent. Finally, fastest race lap is weighted at 15 percent.
As finishing position is the heaviest factor, Chase Briscoe, reigning Cactus King and winner of last week’s Ruoff Mortgage 500, will start on the pole position. Following him will be Ryan Blaney, last week’s polesitter. The remaining lineup is listed below.
The Starting Lineup of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
|26||Martin Truex, Jr.||19|
|28||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||47|