NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Brad Keselowski Starting on Cup Pole at Watkins Glen

After a two-week break, the NASCAR Cup Series is back in action at Watkins Glen International and Brad Keselowski is on the pole.

A third-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway helped the No. 2 Team Penske driver get the first position this weekend.

Penske sweeps the first three spots in the lineup with Joey Logano in second and Ryan Blaney third. Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson is fourth and Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford rounds out the top five.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell start sixth and seventh, while London winner Aric Almirola slots in eighth. Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman complete the top 10 in the lineup.

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As is the case at most racetracks this season, there was no qualifying session held, so the lineup was formed using a performance-based equation. Driver’s and car owner’s finishing position (weighted 25% each), fastest lap from the previous race (15%) and rank in team owner’s points (35%) were combined to set the lineup.

Cup Starting Lineup for Watkins Glen

The Go Bowling at The Glen airs on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

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James

Fortunately, this weird method of setting a starting lineup will likely have little effect on the final results, but it is peculiar to see a guy who has never been an accomplished road racer on the pole.

It would be nice to hear from NASCAR whether this no-practice no-qualifying format is permanent and whether the POTB can find some consistency in their approach. This is clearly more than a pandemic related issue and transparency on NASCAR’s part would be greatly appreciated.

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