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Inclement Weather Cancels Cup Qualifying from New Hampshire; Chase Elliott Starting First

Points leader Chase Elliott will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to green in Sunday's USA Today 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after rain forced the cancelation of qualifying.


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This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the weather is not cooperating with NASCAR teams, at all.

Less than an hour before NASCAR Cup Series teams were scheduled to hit the racetrack for practice and qualifying at the 1.058-mile oval, precipitation moved into the Loudon, New Hampshire area.

Much like Friday’s on-track action for the Xfinity Series, the sanctioning body has decided to cancel practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series, meaning the starting lineup for Sunday’s USA Today 301 will be determined by the Rule Book.

NASCAR’s performance metric will dictate that Chase Elliott, the regular-season points leader, lead the field to green on Sunday, courtesy of his newly-acquired position atop the point standings, and a third-place finish last weekend at Iowa Speedway.

After scoring his first victory of the season in the Iowa Corn 350, Ryan Blaney would be credited with a second-place starting spot in Sunday’s 301-lap event. William Byron would start third, with Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman rounding out the top five.

Joey Logano will start from sixth place on Sunday, with defending New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner Martin Truex, Jr. in seventh. Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski, and Josh Berry will start in positions eight through ten.

With the lineup formula relying heavily on a driver’s finishing position from the last event, there are several stronger drivers and teams, who finished poorly at Iowa, that will be starting from deeper in the field.

Tyler Reddick, who finished 22nd at Iowa, will start from 12th-place, while his team owner Denny Hamlin, who finished 24th at Iowa, will start 14th. Others include Ty Gibbs (25th at Iowa) in 18th, Kyle Larson (34th at Iowa) in 19th, Chase Briscoe (28th at Iowa) in 23rd, Austin Cindric (30th at Iowa) in 29th, and Kyle Busch (35th at Iowa) starting 30th.

Ty Dillon, who didn’t compete in the most recent NASCAR Cup Series event at Iowa Speedway, is assigned a value of 40 in the finishing section of the metric, which will relegate him to the 36th and final starting spot in Sunday’s event.

Now, NASCAR’s most talented drivers will be faced with a new task on Sunday: trying to win a NASCAR Cup Series event and conquer New Hampshire Motor Speedway without a single lap on-track during the weekend, and no idea how their racecars will handle.

Photo Credit: Jacy Norgaard, HHP for Chevy Racing

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