NASCAR lineup at Watkins Glen: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s race without qualifying

By | August 8, 2021

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of the series’ races in 2021.

Drivers’ starting positions for the Go Bowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) were based on four factors:

  • Driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Team owner points ranking (35 percent)
  • Fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent)

NASCAR is conducting qualifying and practice for just eight Cup Series races in the 2021 season. The remaining sessions will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Aug. 15 and Phoenix for the Championship 4 season-ending race on Nov. 7.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on Watkins Glen’s 3.4-mile road course.

MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen?

Brad Keselowski drew the pole position for Sunday’s race. The Team Penske driver has produced two top-five finishes and two top-10 finishes in his last five races.

His teammate Joey Logano will join him on the front row. Logano drew the No. 2 position on the strength of his fourth-place finish at New Hampshire in the last race before the Olympic break.

Ryan Blaney made it a Team Penske sweep of the top three qualifying places for Sunday. Blaney has three top-fives and a top-10 in his last five races. 

All three drivers have already qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs by winning a race.

Of the top four drivers on the playoff bubble, two of them will start next to each other Sunday. Kevin Harvick will start fifth and series points leader Denny Hamlin will start sixth. Tyler Reddick will start 13th and Austin Dillon will start 16th.

NASCAR starting lineup at Watkins Glen

NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International, the Go Bowling at The Glen. Thirty-seven cars were entered for the race.

Start Driver Car No. Team
1 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
2 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
3 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
4 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
8 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
9 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
10 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
11 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
12 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
13 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
14 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
15 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
16 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
17 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
19 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
20 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
21 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing Team
22 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
23 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
24 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
25 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
26 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
27 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
28 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
29 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
30 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
31 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
32 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
33 Kyle Tilley 78 Live Fast Motorsports
34 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
35 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
36 James Davison 51 Petty Ware Racing
37 RC Enerson 15 Rick Ware Racing