NASCAR: New Hampshire starting lineup if qualifying is canceled

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Rain interfering with a NASCAR Cup Series race weekend would not be anything new. What happens if qualifying is canceled at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?

Several recent NASCAR Cup Series race weekends have seen their schedules altered in some way, shape, or form by rain. Some have had their qualifying sessions canceled, some have been delayed, some have been red-flagged, some have been shortened, and some have been postponed.

Unfortunately for NASCAR fans, there is a good chance of bad weather this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as well, which could affect the schedule for the Crayon 301.

That could result in a canceled qualifying session, in which case the starting lineup for Sunday’s 301-lap race around the four-turn, 1.058-mile (1.703-kilometer) Loudon, New Hampshire oval would be set by the qualifying metric.

According to The Weather Channel, there is a 47% chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon. Qualifying is scheduled to take place at 12:50 p.m. ET.

Here is what the starting lineup will look like for Sunday’s race if qualifying is rained out.

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

This provisional starting lineup was generated using the four variables factored into the qualifying metric: the driver’s finish in the most recent race (25%), the car owner’s finish in the most recent race (25%), the rank of the car owner in the owner standings (35%), and the rank of the driver’s fastest lap in the most recent race (15%).

The two categories weighted at 25% are combined into one category weighted at 50% for drivers who drive the same cars each week.

This metric was created in 2020 when qualifying was largely abandoned due to the effects that COVID-19-related restrictions had on the schedule. It was utilized for much of the 2021 season as well, when qualifying sessions remained few and far between.

While qualifying returned on a full-time basis in 2022, the metric was kept as a way to set the qualifying orders — and, when qualifying is canceled, the starting lineups.

Should qualifying take place as scheduled on Saturday, the drivers listed in the even positions above are in group one, and the drivers listed in the odd positions are in group two.

The qualifying order is opposite what the starting lineup would be, meaning that Legacy Motor Club rookie Noah Gragson and Wood Brothers Racing’s Harrison Burton would lead off groups one and two, respectively, of the single-car qualifying session.

The fastest five drivers in each group advance to the second round shootout for the pole position.

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is offering fans an instant $200 just for signing up and betting $20, lists Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, the reigning winner of the Crayon 301, as the +650 favorite to win this Sunday’s race.

Odds and availability are subject to change. Be sure to lock in your $200 now before it’s too late!

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

The Crayon 301 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from New Hampshire Motor Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, July 16. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today if you have not already done so!