MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Brad Keselowski will start from the pole when the NASCAR Cup Series invades the Martinsville Speedway paper clip on Sunday afternoon.
Keselowski earned the Busch Pole Award by virtue of NASCAR’s performance-based metric formula.
The NASCAR matrix factors in a driver’s lap speed ranking from the previous race, the last race finish for both driver and owner and the car’s current rank in the owner standings.
Lap speed is weighted at 15 percent, previous race finish at 25 percent for the driver and owner results and owner points position at 35 percent to calculate the final metric score.
Driver and owner playoff-eligible entries are ranked at the front of the field based on their metric scores from lowest to highest, with all non-playoff entries lined up behind the playoff cars in similar fashion.
Keselowski earned the top spot with a metric score of 4.5, factoring in a sixth-place finish Wednesday evening at Texas Motor Speedway, the third-fastest lap from that event and his third-place seeding in the current point standings.
He’ll be joined on the front row by Martin Truex Jr., who won the spring Martinsville race at the .526-mile Virginia short track. Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin will share row two.
Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott will start fifth through eighth, respectively, with Kyle Busch rolling off best among the non-playoff drivers in ninth.
Busch, who won at Texas Wednesday night, actually had the best matrix score (4.25) in the 39-car field, but was relegated back to the inside of the fifth row because he was previously eliminated from playoff contention.
To view the complete starting lineup and performance matrix breakdown, click here.
Sunday’s Xfinity 500 is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time, with live coverage on NBC, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.