Keselowski draws pole for Darlington re-opener

Image by Russell LaBounty/Motorsport Images

Keselowski draws pole for Darlington re-opener


Keselowski draws pole for Darlington re-opener


Brad Keselowski will start from the pole Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway by way of a random draw.

With on-track qualifying not taking place, the starting line-up for The Real Heroes 400 was completed Thursday evening through a draw. The draw was conducted by NASCAR Chief Scorer Kyle McKinney at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, using a bingo cage during the “Race Hub” broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

Polesitter Keselowski won the Southern 500 at Darlington in 2018. He is joined on the front row by Alex Bowman, who won at Fontana earlier this season. Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch, and Aric Almirola completed the top five.

Points leader and former Darlington winner Kevin Harvick starts from the sixth position. With pit stall selection also going by points, Harvick — through the decision of his Stewart-Haas Racing team — will have the first pit stall at the exit of pit road.

Matt Kenseth will roll off in the 12th position in his return to the NASCAR Cup Series. Kenseth is the new driver of the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Also making a return this weekend is Ryan Newman, who missed three races after his last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. Newman will start 21st.

The picks were done in groups of 12. Positions 1-12 were drawn for teams in those positions in owner points. The same was done for positions 13-24, followed by positions 25-36. Positions 37-40 were determined for open teams in order of owner points.

Darlington is the sport’s first race since early March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the fifth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season.

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Alex Bowman

3. Matt DiBenedetto

4. Kyle Busch

5. Aric Almirola

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Ryan Blaney

8. Jimmie Johnson

9. Joey Logano

10. Denny Hamlin

11. Chase Elliott

12. Matt Kenseth

13. Clint Bowyer

14. Cole Custer

15. Martin Truex Jr.

16. Austin Dillon

17. Darrell Wallace Jr.

18. William Byron

19. Corey LaJoie

20. Erik Jones

21. Ryan Newman

22. Kurt Busch

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24. Chris Buescher

25. Ryan Preece

26. Garrett Smithley

27. Quin Houff

28. Christopher Bell

29. Tyler Reddick

30. JJ Yeley

31. Michael McDowell

32. Joey Gase

33. Ty Dillon

34. John Hunter Nemechek

35. Brennan Poole

36. Reed Sorenson

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill

39. BJ McLeod

40. Josh Bilicki