NASCAR: Full Richmond starting lineup if qualifying is rained out

Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

There is a chance that NASCAR Cup Series qualifying gets rained out at Richmond Raceway, in which case the metric would set the starting lineup.

In the latter stages of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, and in the absence of practice and qualifying amid the sport’s return from the unexpected 10-week hiatus caused by COVID-19-related restrictions, NASCAR introduced a new metric to set the starting lineups for races, instead of the group-based random draws.

This metric factors in four categories: the driver’s finish in most recent race (25%), the car owner’s finish in most recent race (25%), the team’s position in owner standings (35%), and the rank of the driver’s fastest lap in the most recent race (15%). For full-time drivers competing in the same car each week, the first two groups are lumped into one category weighted at 50%.

That formula is still used, but to set the qualifying order for the two groups that take part in single-car qualifying sessions. The drivers are divided up into the two groups based on the results of the most recent race.

However, if NASCAR Cup Series qualifying is canceled, then the metric is again used to set the starting lineup.

If this ends up being the case, the starting lineup effectively looks like the reverse qualifying order (but with the two groups lumped together), and it could very well happen this weekend.

According to The Weather Channel, there is a 64% chance of morning rain on Saturday at Richmond Raceway, and practice for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 is scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m. ET, with qualifying set to immediately follow.

There is always a chance that NASCAR could move those sessions back, but it may be difficult since the Xfinity Series race at the four-turn, 0.75-mile (1.207-kilometer) Richmond, Virginia oval, the ToyotaCare 250, is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m. ET that afternoon.

In the event that the starting lineup is set by the metric for Sunday’s 400-lap race, here is what it would look like.

Starting Lineup
1st – Alex Bowman
2nd – Kyle Busch
3rd – William Byron
4th – Ross Chastain
5th – Tyler Reddick
6th – Austin Cindric
7th – Chris Buescher
8th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
9th – Kyle Larson
10th – Kevin Harvick
11th – Denny Hamlin
12th – Martin Truex Jr.
13th – Todd Gilliland
14th – Ty Gibbs
15th – Michael McDowell
16th – Corey LaJoie
17th – Ryan Blaney
18th – Joey Logano
19th – Chase Briscoe
20th – Daniel Suarez
21st – Christopher Bell
22nd – Erik Jones
23rd – Noah Gragson
24th – Brad Keselowski
25th – A.J. Allmendinger
26th – Harrison Burton
27th – Austin Dillon
28th – Bubba Wallace
29th – Justin Haley
30th – Josh Berry
31st – Cody Ware
32nd – Ryan Preece
33rd – Aric Almirola
34th – J.J. Yeley
35th – Anthony Alfredo
36th – Ty Dillon
37th – Chandler Smith

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Regardless of how the starting lineup is set, don’t miss Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400, as it should take place as scheduled with the forecast currently showing a 0% chance of rain for Sunday afternoon. Tune in to Fox Sports 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET for the live broadcast of the season’s seventh race from Richmond Raceway, and start a free trial of FuboTV now if you haven’t already!