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NASCAR could alter starting lineup procedure for playoffs

NASCAR officials are considering a modification for how the starting lineup is determined once the playoffs start in September, Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

With no practice or qualifying scheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, starting lineups at the national series level have been determined by a random draw. For the NASCAR Cup Series, teams that are ranked first-12th in owner points draw for starting spots 1-12. Same for 13th-24th and 25th-36th. The process is similar in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

If NASCAR teams are not able to qualify on-track by the start of the postseason due to safety protocols – Miller noted NASCAR has committed to no practice and qualifying through Dover, which is Aug. 21-23 – NASCAR would likely lump all playoff teams together as one entire group when conducting its lineup draw.

As a working example, the NASCAR Cup Series field opens the postseason with the Round of 16. Rather than have the top 12 cars in one draw and four playoff cars in the next bucket, all cars that qualified for the playoffs would be drawn together for starting positions 1-16.