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Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Starting Lineup and Stats for NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Race

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.

Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup stats
Credit: DAVID KENT SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM

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
Coverage: NBC
Pole Sitter: Kyle Larson
Defending Champion: Kyle Busch

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Race Details

Distance: 501 miles
Laps: 334
Lap Length: 1.5 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-105; 106-210; 211-334)
Surface: Asphalt
Turns: 4

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Starting Lineup

See below for a breakdown of the qualifying metrics formula.

Starting PositionDriverCar NumberTeamManufacturer
1Kyle Larson5Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
2Ryan Blaney12Team PenskeFord
3Brad Keselowski2Team PenskeFord
4Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
5Chase Elliott9Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
6Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
7Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
8Joey Logano22Team PenskeFord
9William Byron24Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
10Christopher Bell20Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
11Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas RacingFord
12Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress RacingChevrolet
13Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
14Austin Dillon3Richard Childress RacingChevrolet
15Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers RacingFord
16Daniel Suarez99Trackhouse RacingChevrolet
17Erik Jones43Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
18Michael McDowell34Front Row MotorsportsFord
19Chase Briscoe14Stewart-Haas RacingFord
20Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas RacingFord
21Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway RacingFord
22Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas RacingFord
23Corey LaJoie7Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
24Ross Chastain42Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
25Alex Bowman48Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
26B.J. McLeod78Live Fast MotorsportsFord
27Bubba Wallace2323XI RacingToyota
28Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
29Anthony Alfredo38Front Row MotorsportsFord
30Josh Bilicki52Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
31Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway RacingFord
32Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
33Justin Haley77Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
34Ryan Ellis15Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
35Quin Houff00StarCom RacingChevrolet
36Cody Ware51Petty Ware RacingChevrolet
37Chad Finchum66MBM MotorsportsFord
38David Starr13MBM MotorsportsFord
39Joey Gase53Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
40Parker Kligerman96Gaunt Brothers RacingToyota

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.

Kevin Harvick NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 starting lineup stats Texas Motor Speedway
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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.

Race History

  • 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.

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