NASCAR: Darlington starting lineup if qualifying is canceled

Darlington, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Darlington, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is the provisional starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway if rain washes out qualifying again.

The NASCAR Cup Series is set for the first of its two annual trips to Darlington Raceway this weekend for the Goodyear 400.

The qualifying session for Sunday afternoon’s 293-lap race around the four-turn, 1.366-mile (2.198-kilometer) Darlington, South Carolina oval is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday morning.

There is currently just a 10% chance of rain, according to The Weather Channel, though NASCAR fans have grown accustomed to rain washing out qualifying this season. It has already happened multiple times.

If it happens again, here is what the lineup will look like for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.

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

This lineup was determined using four factors: the driver’s finish in the most recent race, the car owner’s finish in the most recent race, the car owner’s rank in the owner standings, and the rank of the driver’s fastest lap in the most recent race.

The first two categories are weighted at 25%, meaning that they make up one larger category which is weighted at 50% for drivers who drive the same cars in every race. The third category is weighted at 35%, and the fourth is weighted at 15%.

This metric was used to set the starting lineups for races beginning in 2020, when qualifying sessions were not taking place. Its use continued in 2021, when qualifying sessions were few and far between.

Since 2022, when qualifying sessions returned on a weekly basis, this metric has still been used to set the starting lineups in the rare instances when qualifying was canceled. But it is still used on a weekly basis, as it is now used to set the qualifying orders, albeit in reverse.

If qualifying does, in fact, happen on Saturday morning, the drivers listed in the even positions are in group one, with Live Fast Motorsports’ B.J. McLeod set to lead things off, while the drivers listed in the odd positions are in group two, with Rick Ware Racing’s Ryan Newman set to lead things off in his Cup Series return.

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The Goodyear 400 is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Darlington Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, May 14. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!