After a highly difficult Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the field now moves to the Kansas Speedway for the opening race of the semi-final round of the 2020 season. As a reward for a dominant show at the Charlotte Roval last Sunday, Chase Elliott bags pole position for the Kansas race.
The Hendrick Motorsports star continued his road course supremacy at the Roval and won his fourth straight race on a road course. Joining him on the front row at Kansas is Joey Logano, who ran a skilled race as well to bag a second place at Charlotte.
Since the stoppage of practice and qualifying sessions due to the effects of the coronavirus, many races saw the starting line-up created by random draws. This changed in August when a new formula was initiated for the starting line-up.
The formula is based on factors taken from the results of the previous race as well as season-long performances. The owner’s position in the race and owner’s points standings also play a role in the formula.
Joining Elliott and Logano in the top-5 are Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. Busch won the opening race of the second round at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Before Elliott’s win at Charlotte, Denny Hamlin won the chaotic event at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Hamlin starts Sunday’s race in 7th place after a lower finish at Charlotte. Hamlin and Harvick, who are chasing a 10th race win this season, have dominated the season. They have 16 race wins between them in 2020.
The other playoff drivers starting the top-8 are Alex Bowman in 6th place and Brad Keselowski who starts the race in 8th place. The eight players mentioned so far form the NASCAR Cup Series playoff grid at the moment. For the Kansas race, Ryan Blaney and William Byron complete the top-10.
Defending champion Kyle Busch, who is set to lose that title once a new champion is crowned at Phoenix Raceway, starts in 20th place. Busch finished in 30th place after an eventful race at Charlotte. His quest for a first win this season gets tougher as he starts in 20th place.
Elliott will hope to seal a spot in his first-ever championship race with a win, and he has the momentum to do so.