NASCAR: Kansas playoff lineup if qualifying is canceled

Kansas Speedway, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kansas Speedway, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

What will the starting lineup look like for this Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway without qualifying?

The NASCAR Cup Series is set for the second of three races in the opening round of the four-round, 10-race playoffs this Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway.

This 267-lap Hollywood Casino 400 at the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Kansas City, Kansas oval is a race that was won last year by a non-playoff driver in 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace.

Following Kurt Busch’s injury, Wallace was competing as the No. 45 team’s representative in the owner playoffs at the time, but this time around, he is a playoff driver himself for the first time in his career.

What will the starting lineup look like for this year’s Hollywood Casino 400 if NASCAR can’t run Saturday’s qualifying session as planned?

While there is very minimal risk of rain this weekend, this lineup is still worth considering since you can still derive the qualifying order from it. The drivers listed in the even positions are set to be in the first group (in reverse order), while the drivers listed in the odd positions are set to be in the second (also in reverse order).

The metric used to determine this list was created in 2020, when qualifying sessions were basically not happening as the sport returned from its unexpected COVID-19-restriction-caused hiatus. Four variables are taken into account.

  • Driver’s finish in most recent race (25%)
  • Car owner’s finish in most recent race (25%)
    • Above two categories combined into one (50%) for drivers who drive the same cars each race
  • Car owner’s rank in owner standings (35%)
  • Driver’s fastest lap rank in most recent race (15%)

The only difference between the regular season version of this formula and the playoff version of this formula is the fact that non-playoff drivers and teams are not factored in until all of the playoff drivers and teams have been taken care of.

Yes, this includes Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott. While Elliott himself is not a playoff driver, his No. 9 team is in the owner playoffs instead of Wallace’s No. 23 team, and he is the No. 9 team’s driver. So there are 17 drivers, not 16, listed as playoff competitors.

Here’s a look.

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

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans $200 just for betting $5, lists Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, who won at Kansas in May, as the +450 favorite to win the Hollywood Casino 400.

With odds and availability always subject to change, lock in your $200 today before it’s too late!

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

The Hollywood Casino 400 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Kansas Speedway starting at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, September 10. Start a free trial of FuboTV today if you have not yet done so!