Martin Truex Jr. captured the Busch Pole Award for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 16 elimination race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Truex will start his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota from the first spot in search of his first Bristol victory. Truex, a playoff driver, is coming off a win at Richmond Raceway to lock into the Round of 12.
Noah Gragson, fresh off back-to-back wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claimed the pole for Friday night’s Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM) in the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Sheldon Creed, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series reigning champion and a winner of back-to-back playoff races earned the pole for his No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet for Thursday night’s UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM). The Truck race is the elimination race for the Round of 10 in that series.
As NASCAR adapted to COVID-19 protocols last season, practice and qualifying were eliminated at a majority of national-series events to limit at-track time, exposure and to cut race weekend costs. To determine starting lineups, competition officials used grouped draws, added inversions for weekend doubleheaders, and eventually adopted a performance-metrics formula. That metrics format remains in place this season, drawing on performance from both individual races and season-long results.
NASCAR’s metrics formula for 2021 weighs:
- 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
- 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
- 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
- 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
See the full lineup for Saturday night’s Cup Series race below.
|1||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|4||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|8||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|11||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|12||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|13||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|14||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|15||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|16||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|17||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|18||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|19||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|20||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|21||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing|
|22||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|23||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|24||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|25||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|26||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|27||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|28||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|29||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|30||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|31||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|32||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|33||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|35||JJ Yeley||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|36||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|38||David Starr||66||Motorsports Business Management|
Practice and qualifying are tentatively scheduled for eight Cup Series races this year. Just one race remains with Busch Pole Qualifying on the schedule — the season-ending championship race Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.