For the first time since 2010, the NASCAR Cup Series is set to run a second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This weekend sees the Quaker State 400 make its triumphant return to the Peach State after being run at Kentucky Speedway every year for the last decade. The rough and rugged surface of Atlanta will be a far cry from what the drivers and teams just dealt with on the Road America road course. Once again, there will be no qualifying or practice sessions before Sunday’s race. As such, the Quaker State 400 starting lineup has been determined by the NASCAR Performance Metrics Formula.
The following article contains all kinds of vital information to get you set for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series action. Read on for the complete Quaker State 400 starting lineup, start time, race facts and NASCAR stats.
NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway
52nd Quaker State 400
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2021
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway — Hampton, GA
Pole Sitter: Chase Elliott
Defending Champion: Cole Custer
Quaker State 400 Race Details
Distance: 400 miles
Lap Length: 1.54 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-80; 81-160; 161-260)
Quaker State 400 Starting Lineup
See below for a breakdown of the qualifying metrics formula.
|Starting Position||Driver||Car Number||Team||Manufacturer|
|1||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|2||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske||Ford|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|4||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|5||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|6||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|7||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|8||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske||Ford|
|9||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske||Ford|
|10||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|11||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|12||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|13||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|14||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|15||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|16||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|17||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|18||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|19||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|20||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|21||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|22||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|23||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|24||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|25||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|26||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing||Chevrolet|
|27||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|28||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|29||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|30||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|31||Josh Billicki||52||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|32||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|33||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|34||B.J. McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford|
|35||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|36||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet|
|37||Joey Gase||15||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|38||J.J. Yeley||66||MBM Motorsports||Toyota|
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 Quaker State 400 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
Quaker State 400 Race History and NASCAR Stats
- The inagural edition of this race was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1960. For the first 20 years of its existence, it was known as the ‘Atlanta 500’ and run at a 500-mile distance.
- This year marks the first time in which the race has been run at a 400-mile distance at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The most recent edition of the race in Georgia was the Kobalt Tools 500 in 2010.
- Kurt Busch is the only active NASCAR Cup Series driver with multiple Quaker State 400 wins at Atlanta. He won each of the last two editions in 2009 and 2010 before the event moved to Kentucky Speedway. Both wins came in a Team Penske Dodge.
- Concerning the last ten years of the race at Kentucky Speedway, Brad Keselowski leads all drivers with three victories. Both Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. won the event twice.
- Kurt Busch scored his third career Quaker State 400 win at Kentucky Speedway in 2019. That result came driving the same Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing that he is in today.
- Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske each won this race three times at Kentucky. However, neither team has won since 2016.
- Since the race’s distance was changed to 400 miles, Toyota has topped all other manufacturers by winning it five times. Three came courtesy of Joe Gibbs Racing while the other two came by way of Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing.
- Cole Custer stunned the field by winning last year’s Quaker State 400 as a NASCAR Cup Series rookie. The victory clinched him a spot in the playoffs and also buoyed Custer to NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors.