NASCAR lineup at Michigan: Starting order, pole for Saturday’s race without qualifying

The starting lineup and pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, the first of a doubleheader this weekend, were set by the procedure that has determined the starting order for almost all Cup Series races in 2020 that have run without prior qualifying sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The starting grid for Saturday’s race at Michigan, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NBCSN, features four Fords in the top five positions as a result of the procedure that utilizes a combination of points standings and a random draw to set the lineup.

As for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on finishing positions from the series’ previous points race, followed by new entries in order of points. That means Brad Keselowski, the winner of last week’s race at New Hampshire, will have the first stall at Michigan.

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

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Michigan?

The driver who won the first of two races at Michigan last year, Joey Logano, will start on the pole for the first race at Michigan this year. He’ll be joined on the front row by Denny Hamlin.

Logano, though, likely will get more help at the start of the race since three Fords are next in the starting order, with Kevin Harvick lining up third, Aric Almirola starting fourth and Brad Keselowski rolling off fifth.

Below is the protocol for how the Cup Series field was set at Michigan:

Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points

NASCAR starting lineup at Michigan

Saturday’s Michigan race is the last that will use the old protocol for setting lineups without qualifying sessions this season, as NASCAR is moving to a new formula beginning with the Daytona road course race Aug. 16. The exceptions will be the second legs of doubleheaders like Sunday’s race at Michigan, for which the field will be set by the results of the first leg with the top 20 finishers inverted.

The new procedure will replace the random-draw element with a performance-based formula with three metrics — finishing position from the previous race (weighted 50 percent), ranking in team owner points standings (35 percent) and fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent).

As for the starting lineup for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Michigan, the draw for positions took place Thursday. Below are the results:

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