Joey Logano on Pole, Denny Hamlin Stays on Front Row: Martinsville Starting Line-Up for NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Race

Published 04/07/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Feb 28, 2021; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) leads Brad Keselowski (2) during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


NASCAR Cup Series will return to competition this weekend in the first night race of the 2021 season. Martinsville Speedway will host the field on Saturday night and courtesy of his win in the historic Bristol dirt race, Joey Logano has bagged pole position honors at Martinsville.

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Once again, Denny Hamlin is locked on the front row as he continues his highly consistent start to the season. He finished in third place after narrowly missing out on a win after the final restart at Bristol.

Mar 29, 2021; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) and driver Joey Logano (22) during the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

William Byron, another consistent starter this season, will start in third place. Lining up with him on the second row will be Atlanta winner Ryan Blaney. Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate and reigning Cup champ, Chase Elliott, will round off the top-5.

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Which drivers line up behind the top-5 in the NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville race?

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has also received a promotion in the line-up as he will start in sixth place. This is mainly due to his second-place finish at Martinsville. Phoenix winner Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski will complete the top-10.

One of the best performers this season, Kyle Larson, will start the race in 19th place. However, as he has shown on multiple occasions already this year, Larson is expected to find his place at the front very quickly once the race starts.

Joey Logano on the pole and Denny Hamlin beside him on the front row for Saturday at Martinsville. @NASCARONFOX pic.twitter.com/oKre2GkKyY

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 7, 2021

Daniel Suarez, who recorded his maiden top-five finish with Trackhouse Racing, and Kyle Busch will begin the race just outside the top-10. Bubba Wallace, who is still building his form with Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing, will start in 25th place.

Taking another look at the new formula for NASCAR line ups

Still following the new formula, the line-up was decided by the weighted average method adopted by NASCAR since last season. This formula is a combination of four metrics.

Equal weightage (25%) is given to a driver’s finishing position in the last race and the car owner’s position in the last race.

Maximum importance (35%) is given to the team owner’s place in the points standings. Meanwhile, 15% weightage goes to the fastest lap recorded in the previous race.

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MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – JUNE 10: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 SiriusXM Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Truex Jr. won last year’s race at Martinsville in the regular season. Then, in the penultimate race of the playoffs, Elliott ran a highly impressive race to win a must-win situation to reach the ‘Championship 4’.

All the drivers will be motivated to win on Saturday night and also take home the unique ‘Grandfather Clock’ trophy at Martinsville.

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DIVE DEEPER

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Aayush Majumdar

947 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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