Start time, lineup, TV, streaming schedule for Sunday’s race
For 7 of the 8 motorists who made it to the 3rd round of the NASCAR playoffs, it boils down to this: one race and 3 Champion 4 berths up for grabs.
Kyle Larson is the only chauffeur ensured of racing for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series title after sweeping the very first 2 races — 2 weeks earlier at Texas and recently at Kansas. However after 2 successive races on intermediate tracks, the motorists will need to challenge the bump and grind of short-track racing, where perseverance can use thin and moods can flare.
Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday’s race, could also serve as a relief for drivers who struggled in the previous 2 races. Of the seven motorists, six — Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — have at least one win on the Virginia short track, while Ryan Blaney has two runner-up finishes.
Elliott and Hamlin have built up a decent points cushion and may only need a solid finish to reach the final four. For everyone else, it’s a race against each other and the rest of the field with championship dreams on the line.
Here is all the information you need to get ready for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the ninth of 10 playoff races in the NASCAR Cup Series:
START TIME: 2 p.m. ET.
TV: NBC. Pre-race broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.
RADIO: Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
STREAMING: NBC Sports website (for those who sign in with their cable/satellite provider) and NBC Sports app.
RACE DISTANCE: 500 laps around the 0.526-mile track for a total of 263 miles.
STAGE LENGTHS (laps per stage): Stage 1: 130, Stage 2: 130, Stage 3: 240.
LAST TIME: Truex led the final 16 laps in April after passing Hamlin, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, on lap 484 before pulling away from Elliott to win by 1.972 seconds. And one year ago in the 2020 playoff race, Elliott dominated, leading 236 laps, including the final 44, before cruising to a 6.577-second win over Blaney.
PLAYOFFS: Three spots are up for grabs Sunday, with Larson the only driver locked in to race for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series title. Here are the standings through eight playoff races (x-clinched one of four berths in Championshp 4):
LINEUP: The starting lineup was determined by using NASCAR’s competition-based formula. Larson will start on the pole alongside Elliott, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, as playoff motorists make up the first 4 rows. Here is the lineup for the Xfinity 500:
1. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
2. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
3. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
4. (19) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota
5. (22) Joey Logano, Ford
6. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford
7. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota
8. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
9. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford
10. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet
11. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet
12. (20) Christopher Bell, Toyota
13. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
14. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
15. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford
16. (42) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
17. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota
18. (8) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet
19. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford
20. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet
21. (21) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford
22. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford
23. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford
24. (41) Cole Custer, Ford
25. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet
26. (37) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet
27. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford
28. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet
29. (7) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet
30. (78) BJ McLeod, Ford
31. (51) Cody Ware, Chevrolet
32. (38) Anthony Alfredo, Ford
33. (52) Josh Bilicki, Ford
34. (53) Joey Gase, Chevrolet
35. (77) Justin Haley, Chevrolet
36. (00) Quin Houff, Chevrolet
37. (15) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet
38 (66) Timmy Hill, Toyota
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NASCAR race today: Start time, TELEVISION, streaming, lineup for Martinsville
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.