Martin Truex Jr. nabs Busch Pole Award for Bristol playoff race

Martin Truex Jr. nabs Busch Pole Award for Bristol playoff race
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Martin Truex Jr. captured the Busch Pole Award for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 16 elimination race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

RELATED: Complete schedule for Bristol | Betting odds

Truex will start his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota from the first spot in search of his first Bristol victory. Truex, a playoff driver, is coming off a win at Richmond Raceway to lock into the Round of 12.

Noah Gragson, fresh off back-to-back wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claimed the pole for Friday night’s Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM) in the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Sheldon Creed, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series reigning champion and a winner of back-to-back playoff races earned the pole for his No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet for Thursday night’s UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM). The Truck race is the elimination race for the Round of 10 in that series.

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 Saturday night’s Cup Series race below.

Start pos.

Driver

Car #

Team

1

Martin Truex Jr.

19

Joe Gibbs Racing

2

Denny Hamlin

11

Joe Gibbs Racing

3

Joey Logano

22

Team Penske

4

Chase Elliott

9

Hendrick Motorsports

5

Kyle Larson

5

Hendrick Motorsports

6

Christopher Bell

20

Joe Gibbs Racing

7

Ryan Blaney

12

Team Penske

8

Kevin Harvick

4

Stewart-Haas Racing

9

Kyle Busch

18

Joe Gibbs Racing

10

Brad Keselowski

2

Team Penske

11

Alex Bowman

48

Hendrick Motorsports

12

Aric Almirola

10

Stewart-Haas Racing

13

Tyler Reddick

8

Richard Childress Racing

14

William Byron

24

Hendrick Motorsports

15

Kurt Busch

1

Chip Ganassi Racing

16

Michael McDowell

34

Front Row Motorsports

17

Ross Chastain

42

Chip Ganassi Racing

18

Austin Dillon

3

Richard Childress Racing

19

Matt DiBenedetto

21

Wood Brothers Racing

20

Chase Briscoe

14

Stewart-Haas Racing

21

Daniel Suarez

99

Trackhouse Racing

22

Erik Jones

43

Richard Petty Motorsports

23

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

JTG Daugherty Racing

24

Ryan Newman

6

Roush Fenway Racing

25

Chris Buescher

17

Roush Fenway Racing

26

Cole Custer

41

Stewart-Haas Racing

27

Ryan Preece

37

JTG Daugherty Racing

28

Bubba Wallace

23

23XI Racing

29

Justin Haley

77

Spire Motorsports

30

Anthony Alfredo

38

Front Row Motorsports

31

Corey LaJoie

7

Spire Motorsports

32

BJ McLeod

78

Live Fast Motorsports

33

Josh Bilicki

52

Rick Ware Racing

34

Quin Houff

00

StarCom Racing

35

JJ Yeley

51

Petty Ware Racing

36

Garrett Smithley

53

Rick Ware Racing

37

James Davison

15

Rick Ware Racing

38

David Starr

66

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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