Chase Elliott and Michael McDowell will lead the field to the green flag this weekend on the Daytona road course.
The performance matrix spit out this week’s starting line-up. It is a formula based on averaging the driver’s fastest lap in the previous race, finish from that event and owner point standings. With regular qualifying set to be run at only eight race weekends this season, the performance matrix will set most of the line-ups.
Elliott finished second in the Daytona 500 while McDowell won “The Great American Race.” A front-row starting spot is a career-best for McDowell in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Austin Dillon will start third, and Denny Hamlin will start fourth. Kevin Harvick will start fifth.
Ryan Preece will start sixth, Corey LaJoie seventh, Kyle Larson eighth, Ross Chastain ninth, and Darrell Wallace Jr. 10th.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 will start a full field of 40 drivers. Notables in the field are Justin Haley in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports, AJ Allmendinger in the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing, Ty Dillon in the No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing, and James Davison in the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing.
The Daytona road course event is a race realigned from Auto Club Speedway.