NASCAR lineup at Pocono: Starting order, pole for Saturday’s race without qualifying

The starting lineup and pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, the first in a two-day doubleheader at the Tricky Triangly in Long Pond, Pa., were set by the same procedure that determined the starting lineup for the last five Cup Series races, all of which were scheduled to run without prior practice or qualifying sessions.

The starting grid for Saturday’s race at Pocono, scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on Fox, features a pair of Fords at the front of the field as a result of the procedure that utilizes a combination of points standings and a random draw to set the lineup.

As for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on finishing positions from the series’ previous race, followed by new entries in order of points. So Talladega winner Ryan Blaney had the first pit stall selection for Saturday’s race at Pocono and chose the No. 2 stall (because No. 1 was not available).

Below is the starting lineup for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Pocono and how it was set.

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Pocono?

For the first time this season, Aric Almirola is on the pole to start a race thanks to Thursday’s random draw. Almirola reached the top 12 in points standings thanks to his third-place finish at Talladega last week.

Another Ford, that of Ryan Blaney, will line up next to Almirola’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang on the front row to start Saturday’s race. They’ll be followed by a pair of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, starting in third and fourth.

Below is the protocol for how the Cup Series field was set at Pocono:

NASCAR starting lineup at Pocono

The same protocol that set the lineup for Saturday’s Pocono race will be used for all NASCAR Cup Series races currently confirmed on the 2020 schedule except Sunday’s Pocono race, the second leg of the doubleheader, for which the field will be set by a top 20 inversion of Saturday’s race results.

NASCAR is proceeding without qualifying and practice sessions prior to races in an effort to limit time spent at the track amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for Saturday’s race at Pocono, the draw for the starting lineup took place Thursday. Below are the results:

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