Hamlin awarded pole position for Talladega Playoff race

Three-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin will start on pole position for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway, the YellaWood 500, on Sunday, October 4.

Since August, the starting lineup for an upcoming NASCAR race was based on four stats: current owner points position, the driver’s results from a previous Cup race, the owner’s results from a previous Cup race and the fastest lap recorded from a previous Cup race. By leading a race-high 121 of 268 laps and finishing in third place in the previous Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hamlin was awarded the pole position for the upcoming Cup race at Talladega.

Hamlin, a six-time race winner of this season and who will lead the field to the start of a Cup race for the first time since June at Homestead-Miami Speedway, enters this weekend’s race at Talladega with a 58-point cushion above the top-eight cutline as he attempts to advance to the penultimate round of the 2020 Cup Playoffs.


American Muscle

Kurt Busch, the lone Playoff contender who has clinched a spot in the Round of 8 after winning last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will start alongside Hamlin on the front row. Martin Truex Jr. will start in third place followed by Alex Bowman and Kevin Harvick.

Kyle Busch will start in sixth place followed by Brad Keselowski, teammate Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott. Aric Almirola and Austin Dillon will start in 11th and 12th, with the current-eligible Playoff contenders occupying the top starting spots on the grid.

Matt DiBenedetto, the highest-starting non-title contender who tied his career-best result of second place last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will start in 13th place followed by Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher.

Starting in positions 16-27 are Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson, Cole Custer, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, William Byron, Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek, Michael McDowell, Ryan Preece, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Bubba Wallace.

Starting in positions 28-38 are Ty Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Brennan Poole, Quin Houff, J.J. Yeley, Justin Haley, Joey Gase, Timmy Hill and James Davison. Veteran Brendan Gaughan, who is set to make his 503rd and final career start in NASCAR this weekend at Talladega, will round out the 39-car field.

The YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will occur on Sunday, October 4, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.


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