Mar 8, 2013, 7:56 PM EDT
With rain washing away NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski will start on pole for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400.
The first 36 starting positions for Sunday’s race will be set by last year’s owner points, meaning that Keselowski and Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer will be occupying the front row. The final seven spots are being filled by either owner points or qualifying attempts from this year. NASCAR will begin to use 2013 points in the event of qualifying cancellations starting next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
A pre-qualifying Cup practice session was also scratched because of the weather, meaning that an entire day of track time was lost. While teams were able to test on Thursday at LVMS, today’s rainout will add a little more importance to the two Cup practices set for tomorrow as the garage continues to figure out the new Generation 6 machines.
“Certainly, we’d like to have all the track time we can get,” Keselowski told NASCAR.com. “It’s the same for everybody, the same circumstances, and it’s all about how you adapt to it.”
Row 2 will feature championship leader Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, while Row 3 features Greg Biffle (who led Thursday’s test session at LVMS) and Denny Hamlin. As for the two most popular drivers in the Cup series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will go off 12th and Danica Patrick will start 37th on the grid.
You can check out the full starting lineup here.