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

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of its 2021 races.

Drivers’ starting positions for the GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET; Fox, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) were based on four factors:

NASCAR is conducting qualifying and practice for just eight Cup Series races in the 2021 season. Six races in that group remain, starting with the May 23 event at Circuit of the Americas, a road course outside Austin, Texas.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the 2.66-mile track at Talladega Superspeedway.

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Talladega?

Denny Hamlin is the polesitter for Sunday’s race based on NASCAR’s mathematical formula. Hamlin leads the series point standings after nine races despite not having won a race. He leads all drivers with eight top-five finishes and five stage wins. Hamlin won the first two stages of last weekend’s race at Richmond but was forced to settle for second after being passed by Alex Bowman on the final restart.

To Hamlin’s outside will be Joey Logano, who finished third at Richmond and is third in the point standings. Logano has a race win (Bristol dirt), four top-fives and two stage wins this season. 

The rest of the top 10 for the race at Talladega: Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

NASCAR starting lineup at Talladega

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway was determined through a mathematical formula NASCAR adopted late in the 2020 season. The formula produced this starting lineup for the GEICO 500 without qualifying:

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