NASCAR announced the starting lineup on Thursday for this weekend’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN) at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sunday’s race will see Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin on the front row.
For Almirola, it’s his fifth straight top five starting spot and third pole during this new draw format. It’s also his sixth front row starting spot too.
Hamlin, will get his third front row starting spot of the pandemic and his first top five starting position since Pocono 1.
Chase Elliott will start third for his first best starting spot since drawing the pole in Atlanta. Brad Keselowski starts fourth for his first top five starting spot since Homestead while Kyle Busch rounds out the top five.
Where this starting lineup varies from importance from the weeks past is that for whatever reason, starting positions hasn’t matter much at the Magic Mile. Five of the last seven NASCAR Cup Series race winners in the Granite State have come from a starting spot outside of the top 12.
In fact, just six of the 48 times (13%) has the pole winner won the race outright. It happened with Kyle Busch in 2017 as he and Ryan Newman’s win in 2011 are the only times since 2008 that a pole winner has won.
Furthermore, only nine times has a front row starter won. Go back to Row 2 and you get only 10 of the 48 races have seen a top three starter win this race.
Other than the pole, the 13th place starter (10%) is the next best starting position that has produced the most winners. Row 7 has almost as many winners (8) as the front row (9) including Harvick winning from the 14th starting spot in each of the last two years.
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin
Row 2: Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski
Row 3: Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer
Row 4: Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman
Row 5: Joey Logano, Kurt Busch
Row 6: Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney
Row 7: Tyler Reddick R, Cole Custer R
Row 8: Bubba Wallace, William Byron
Row 9: Erik Jones, Michael McDowell
Row 10: Matt DiBenedetto, Jimmie Johnson
Row 11: Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman
Row 12: Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher
Row 13: Ty Dillon, James Davison
Row 14: Garrett Smithley, Joey Gase
Row 15: JJ Yeley, Ryan Preece
Row 16: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Quin Houff R
Row 17: Corey LaJoie, Brennan Poole R
Row 18: Christopher Bell R, John Hunter Nemechek R
Row 19: Daniel Suarez, Timmy Hill