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When does the NASCAR race at Las Vegas start, what is the grid and stage lengths?

Jake Nichol September 24, 2021
NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The Round of 12 begins in the NASCAR Playoffs this Sunday at Las Vegas. When does the race start, what is the grid and what are the stage lengths?

Las Vegas starts NASCAR Round of 12

Sunday will mark the second trip of 2021 to the 1.5-mile intermediate oval in Nevada.

Kyle Larson won the spring race at Las Vegas for Hendrick Motorsports – his first win since his comeback to NASCAR.

The Cup Series has been racing at Vegas since 1998.

In 2018, a second race was added in the fall.

This race subsequently became the first race in the second round of the Playoffs for 2020 – something continued this year.

Now IndyCar racer Jimmie Johnson has the most wins at the intermediate oval – with four all in the spring race.

Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr and Kurt Busch are the three winners of the fall event since its 2018 inception.

Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

What is the grid for the South Point 400?

The Playoff field has been trimmed from 16 to 12 after the Bristol eliminator last week.

Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell were the four to be eliminated.

The top 12 positions on the grid remain protected for the Playoff drivers, meaning those four eliminated can end up anywhere on the grid.

As Las Vegas is not a new or crown jewel event on the calendar, it will not feature any practice or qualifying.

NASCAR’s formula system will set the grid.

Larson, who won at Bristol, will start on the pole.

The #5 will be joined on the front row by Ryan Blaney of Team Penske.

The second row will consist of William Byron, who just scrapped through at Bristol and Martin Truex Jr.

There is just one driver remaining in the Playoffs who has yet to win in 2021.

That is the #4 of Kevin Harvick.

He rolls off in fifth for Stewart Haas alongside Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs.

The final Playoff-only row of the grid will consist of reigning champion Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell in 11th and 12th.

The highest non-Playoff driver is Reddick in 13th while Matt DiBenedetto’s 14th place is the highest of any driver to not be involved in the 2021 Playoffs.

Kurt Busch is the defending race winner.

All grid positions are subject to change should any driver fail pre-race tech enough times.

When is the South Point 400 at Las Vegas and what are the stage lengths?

Officially known as the South Point 400, the green flag will drop at 19:19pm ET.

In Nevada, that’s 16:19pm. For those in the UK, it’s 00:19am on Sunday morning.

It will be a 267-lap affair, spanning 400.5 miles around the speedway.

As ever, it will be split into three stages.

They will be 80-80-107 laps in length.

On or around Lap 25, there will be a competition caution owing to the fact there is no practice or qualifying.

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.