Kyle Larson lands Busch Pole for Texas playoff race

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Kyle Larson lands Busch Pole for Texas playoff race
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Kyle Larson earned the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8.

RELATED: Texas weekend schedule | Cup Series standings

Larson, winner of last Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, will start on pole for the ninth time in 2021 in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

AJ Allmendinger will start on pole in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 at Texas (3 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the first race in the Round of 8.

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 Sunday’s Cup Series race below.

Start pos.

Driver

Car #

Team

1

Kyle Larson

5

Hendrick Motorsports

2

Denny Hamlin

11

Joe Gibbs Racing

3

Kyle Busch

18

Joe Gibbs Racing

4

Ryan Blaney

12

Team Penske

5

Joey Logano

22

Team Penske

6

Chase Elliott

9

Hendrick Motorsports

7

Brad Keselowski

2

Team Penske

8

Martin Truex Jr.

19

Joe Gibbs Racing

9

Tyler Reddick

8

Richard Childress Racing

10

Chris Buescher

17

Roush Fenway Racing

11

Christopher Bell

20

Joe Gibbs Racing

12

William Byron

24

Hendrick Motorsports

13

Matt DiBenedetto

21

Wood Brothers Racing

14

Alex Bowman

48

Hendrick Motorsports

15

Austin Dillon

3

Richard Childress Racing

16

Michael McDowell

34

Front Row Motorsports

17

Kurt Busch

1

Chip Ganassi Racing

18

Bubba Wallace

23

23XI Racing

19

Daniel Suarez

99

TrackHouse Racing

20

Cole Custer

41

Stewart-Haas Racing

21

Erik Jones

43

Richard Petty Motorsports

22

Aric Almirola

10

Stewart-Haas Racing

23

Ryan Preece

37

JTG Daugherty Racing

24

Kevin Harvick

4

Stewart-Haas Racing

25

Ross Chastain

42

Chip Ganassi Racing

26

Chase Briscoe

14

Stewart-Haas Racing

27

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

JTG Daugherty Racing

28

Anthony Alfredo

38

Front Row Motorsports

29

Corey LaJoie

7

Spire Motorsports

30

Quin Houff

00

StarCom Racing

31

Ryan Newman

6

Roush Fenway Racing

32

Justin Haley

77

Spire Motorsports

33

Josh Bilicki

52

Rick Ware Racing

34

Cody Ware

51

Petty Ware Racing

35

BJ McLeod

78

Live Fast Motorsports

36

Garrett Smithley

15

Rick Ware Racing

37

Joey Gase

53

Rick Ware Racing

38

David Starr

66

Motorsports Business Management

39

Timmy Hill

13

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.

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