The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The Xfinity 500 should be a thrilling one for race fans. The combination of the beating and banging racing that short-track racing provides and the heightened stakes of this being a playoff cutoff race figures to provide plenty of entertaining moments. Like clockwork, Kyle Larson will start Sunday afternoon on the pole. After his third consecutive win last week at Kansas, Larson sits out in front of the official Xfinity 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 Hollywood Casino 400 starting lineup, start time, race facts and NASCAR stats.
NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway
72nd Xfinity 500
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021
Start Time: 2 p.m. EST
Track: Martinsville Speedway — Ridgeway, VA
Pole Sitter: Kyle Larson
Defending Champion: Chase Elliott
Xfinity 500 Race Details
Distance: 263 miles
Lap Length: 0.526 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-130; 131-260; 261-500)
Surface: Asphalt on the Straightaways; Concrete in the Turns
Xfinity 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 Xfintiy 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 Xfinity 500 starting lineup are all occupied by playoff drivers.
Xfinity 500 Race History and NASCAR Stats
The following sections offer various NASCAR stats of note and interesting history for the Xfinity 500.
- The Xfinity 500 is in fact the oldest NASCAR race still run to this day.
- The first edition of this race came all the way back in 1949, NASCAR’s first year racing at Martinville Speedway. Red Byron took the checkered flag that day, driving an Oldsmobile for Raymond Parks.
- As is tradition at Martinsville, the winner of this race will receive a custom-made grandfather clock as the trophy.
NASCAR Stats and Race Records
- An impressive quartet of NASCAR Hall of Famers are tied with six wins for the most all-time in this race. Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson all won the Xfinity 500 six times in their historic careers.
- Interestingly enough, all six of Petty’s wins came in a seven-year span from 1967-73. Waltrip did his best to follow that up by winning this race six times in a nine-year span from 1981-89.
- Denny Hamlin is the only active NASCAR Cup Series driver with multiple wins in this race. The most recent of Hamlin’s two victories came in 2010.
- Last season, Chase Elliott won the Xfinity 500 by an astounding margin of over seven seconds. The win advanced Elliott to the Championship 4 at Phoenix where he would go on to capture the title.
- Elliott’s win last season extended the all-time lead for Hendrick Motorsports in this race. HMS holds a 17-9 lead over runner-up and now defunct Junior Johnson & Associates for the most Xfinity 500 wins by a race team.
- Chevrolet is the top manufacturer when it comes to wins in this race. Their 31 all-time wins are more than double the 15 of runner-up Ford.