After a chaotic elimination race at the Charlotte ROVAL this past weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series is set to head west to the Lone Star State. The NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 will begin this Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. The other race at the 1.5-mile oval this season was the All-Star Race back in June. Kyle Larson took home the $1 million prize on that night. Considering that he was also last week’s ROVAL winner, it’s no surprise that the No. 5 car drew pole position in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup.
The following article contains all kinds of vital information to get you set for Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series action. Read on for the complete Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup, start time, race facts and NASCAR stats.
NASCAR Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway
16th Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2021
Start Time: 2 p.m. EST
Track: Texas Motor Speedway — Fort Worth, TX
Pole Sitter: Kyle Larson
Defending Champion: Kyle Busch
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Race Details
Distance: 501 miles
Lap Length: 1.5 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-105; 106-210; 211-334)
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Starting Lineup
See below for a breakdown of the qualifying metrics formula.
|Starting Position||Driver||Car Number||Team||Manufacturer|
|1||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|2||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|3||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|4||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|5||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|6||Justin Haley||31||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet|
|7||Ty Dillon||42||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|8||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|9||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|10||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske||Ford|
|11||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|12||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|13||Kurt Busch||45||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|14||Erik Jones||43||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|15||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing||Ford|
|16||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|17||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|18||Brad Keselowski||6||Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing||Ford|
|19||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|20||Austin Cindric||2||Team Penske||Ford|
|21||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing||Chevrolet|
|22||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|23||Todd Gilliland||38||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|24||Harrison Burton||21||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|25||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske||Ford|
|26||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|27||Justin Allgaier||77||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|28||Noah Gragson||16||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet|
|29||J.J. Yeley||15||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|30||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|31||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|32||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|33||Ross Chastain||1||Trackhouse Racing||Chevrolet|
|34||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|35||Cody Ware||51||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|36||Josh Williams||78||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford|
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying Overview
Following the interruption to racing last season, NASCAR did away with practice and qualifying runs at the majority of races. A combination of grouped draws and a performance-metrics formula was used to determine starting grids. That same formula remains in place for the majority of races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, including this Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup.
So, what exactly is involved in the performance-metrics formula? Well, it draws on a number of factors including individual race performances and season-long results. The following breakdown illustrates the weighted grades associated with each component of NASCAR’s metrics formula:
NASCAR Cup Series Metrics Formula Breakdown
- 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
- 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
- 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
- 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
Note that all drivers currently in the NASCAR Playoffs receive priority starting spots over the rest of the field. Therefore, even if a non-playoff driver scores better in the metrics formula, he will still start behind all of those drivers in the running for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. With this being the Round of 8, the top 8 spots in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup are all occupied by playoff drivers.
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Race History and NASCAR Stats
The following sections offer various NASCAR stats of note and interesting history of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.
- After hosting only one NASCAR Cup Series race annually, Texas Motor Speedway acquired this event beginning in 2005 as a result of the Ferko lawsuit. The settlement took a race from Darlington Raceway and moved it to Texas.
- The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 race trophy is in the shape of a cowboy hat sitting atop a piston.
- This race was featured in the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. However, the action was acutally filmed at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- This marks just the second year under the current sponsorship naming rights. The event was most recently known as the AAA Texas 500 from 2010-2019.
NASCAR Stats and Race Records
- Carl Edwards won the first running of this race back in 2005 while driving for Roush Fenway Racing. He finished his career with three wins in the event.
- Jimmie Johnson tops the all-time wins list with five victories in this race. Four of them came in consecutive seasons from 2012-15.
- The only active NASCAR Cup Series driver with multiple victories in this race is Kevin Harvick. He is tied with Edwards with three career wins. Interestingly enough, all three of Harvick’s wins came in consecutive seasons from 2017-19.
- Defending race winner, Kyle Busch, is just the third driver to win the event in a Toyota.
- Thanks to Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports holds the all-time lead among race teams with five Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 wins. No other HMS driver has ever won the race.
- Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing sit tied for second among race teams with four wins apiece. The two teams have combined to win in each of the last five years.
- Chevrolet holds a slight lead among manufacturers with seven race wins. Ford is second with five while defending champion, Toyota, has three.