The second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs is set to begin this weekend in Sin City. Sunday night’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sure has a tough act to follow following a thrilling Bristol Night Race last weekend. Four of the 16 playoff drivers have officially been eliminated. That leaves just a dozen remaining to battle it out for the 2021 NASCAR Championship. Kyle Larson will start from the pole position in Sunday’s South Point 400 starting lineup.
The following article contains all kinds of vital information to get you set for Sunday night’s NASCAR Cup Series action. Read on for the complete South Point 400 starting lineup, start time, race facts and NASCAR stats.
NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4th South Point 400
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Start Time: 7 p.m. EST
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway — Las Vegas, NV
Pole Sitter: Kyle Larson
Defending Champion: Kurt Busch
South Point 400 Race Details
Distance: 400.5 miles
Lap Length: 1.5 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-80; 81-160; 161-267)
South Point 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||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|4||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske||Ford|
|5||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|6||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|7||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|8||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|9||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|10||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske||Ford|
|11||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske||Ford|
|12||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|13||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|14||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|15||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|16||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|17||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing||Chevrolet|
|18||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|19||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|20||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|21||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|22||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|23||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|24||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|25||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|26||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|27||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|28||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|29||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|30||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|31||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|32||B.J. McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford|
|33||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|34||Joey Gase||53||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|35||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet|
|36||David Starr||13||MBM Motorsports||Toyota|
|37||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|38||Garrett Smithley||15||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|39||Timmy Hill||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 South Point 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
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 12, the top 12 spots in the South Point 400 starting lineup are all occupied by playoff drivers.
South Point 400 Race History and NASCAR Stats
The following sections offer various NASCAR stats of note and interesting history of the South Point 400.
- With this only the fourth year of its existence, the South Point 400 is one of the newest events on the current NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
- After only hosting one NASCAR weekend annually, Las Vegas Motor Speedway got this second race date in the fall in 2018. It replaced New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s fall date.
- Since its inception, the event has been run with the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa as its title sponsor. Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Brendan Gaughan’s father owns the South Point.
- In 2019, the race was moved to a prime-time start to make the conditions more comfortable for both the drivers and fans, alike. It marked the first ever nighttime Cup Series race in the speedway’s history.
NASCAR Stats and Race Records
- With the South Point 400 only having been run three times prior to this year, the race stats and records to date are limited. Brad Keselowski took home the win in the first-ever edition back in 2018, driving a Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
- In 2019, Martin Truex Jr. was victorious driving his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.
- Last year, Kurt Busch pulled off a surprise win as a NASCAR Playoffs underdog in this race to punch his ticket to the round of eight. He was driving a Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing. Interestingly enough, it was the first win ever for the CGR race team at Las Vegas.
- Given the lack of NASCAR stats specific to the South Point 400, we will also briefly consider statistics from the older Las Vegas Motor Speedway spring race. With two additional wins in the spring event, Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers with three total wins at LVMS.
- Among current drivers, Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano are the only ones to win in the Sin City multiple times.
- Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports sit 1-2 in wins by a race team at LVMS with seven and six, respectively.
- Ford has won the most races at Las Vegas among car manufacturers all-time. The 13 total victories include Keselowski’s South Point 400 win in 2018.