Denny Hamlin will start first at Talladega

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read

Denny Hamlin is starting first again. Will he end the race in first too?

NASCAR's dominating points leader will lead the field to green at Talladega on Sunday (2 p.m ET, Fox) as he looks for his first win of the season. Hamlin has an 81-point lead over teammate Martin Truex Jr. in the points standings but is not one of the eight drivers who has gotten wins over the first nine races of the 2021 season.

Hamlin's got a decent shot (again) at getting a win on Sunday. He won at Talladega in the fall and is the betting favorite entering the race. Hamlin has finished in the top four in four of the last five races at Talladega.

Joey Logano starts second and Truex is third. William Byron will start fourth and Richmond winner Alex Bowman will start fifth.

With no practice or qualifying ahead of Sunday's race, NASCAR's qualifying formula was used to set the lineup. The formula consists of a driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent), the car owner’s finishing position from the previous event (25 percent), where the team is in owner points (35 percent) and the driver’s fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent). The driver with the lowest combined number starts first.

Here's the starting lineup for the race. A full 40-car field is expected for the first time since the second race of the season. 

Starting lineup

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Joey Logano

3. Martin Truex Jr.

4. William Byron

5. Alex Bowman

6. Christopher Bell

7. Ryan Blaney

8. Chase Elliott

9. Kyle Busch

10. Brad Keselowski

11. Austin Dillon

12. Kyle Larson

13. Matt DiBenedetto

14. Aric Almirola

15. Kurt Busch

16. Kevin Harvick

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18. Ross Chastain

19. Daniel Suarez

20. Tyler Reddick

21. Chris Buescher

22. Erik Jones

23. Michael McDowell

24. Bubba Wallace

25. Chase Briscoe

26. Corey LaJoie

27. Cole Custer

28. Ryan Newman

29. Ryan Preece

30. Anthony Alfredo

31. BJ McLeod

32. Quin Houff

33. Cody Ware

34. Justin Haley

35. Joey Gase

36. Josh Bilicki

37. JJ Yeley

38. Kaz Grala

39. Harrison Burton

40. Timmy Hill

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