NASCAR lineup at Bristol: Starting order, pole for Saturday night race without qualifying

The starting lineup and pole for Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third race of the 2020 Cup Series playoffs, were not set by the random-draw procedure that determined the starting order for most of the races in 2020 that ran without qualifying sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The starting grid for Saturday’s race at Bristol, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NBCSN, features some of this season’s top drivers at the front of the field. It is the result of a relatively new formula that takes into account finishing position from the previous race, team owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race to set the lineup.

As for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on the same formula. Which means the pole sitter for Saturday night’s race (more on him below) also had the first pit stall selection.

Below is the starting lineup for Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol and how it was set.

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Bristol?

Brad Keslowski won last week’s race at Richmond in relatively dominating fashion. That, in addition to his second-place standing in points, is why he earned the pole position for Saturday’s Bristol night race. 

Keselowski will be joined on the front row by his Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, who finished third last week and sits fourth in points. Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick will line up behind the Penske drivers in Row 2.

Below is the formula for how the Cup Series field was set at Bristol:

NASCAR starting lineup at Bristol

Saturday night’s race at Bristol is just the sixth to use NASCAR’s new formula for setting the starting lineup without qualifying (and the third to use it since NASCAR tweaked the finishing position portion of the formula). The same procedure will be used through the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

As for the starting lineup for Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol, below is the field the formula created:

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