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Daytona winner Ryan Blaney will start first at Darlington

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Ryan Blaney is starting where he's finished the last two Cup Series races.

Blaney has the pole for Sunday's race at Darlington (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN) after winning the final race of the regular season at Daytona. Blaney is one of the 16 drivers in the playoffs and starts on the front row with Denny Hamlin. 

Since NASCAR's qualifying formula includes a driver's points position, all 16 playoff drivers start ahead of everyone else. It'll be like that for every playoff race without qualifying the rest of the season — the drivers in the playoffs will start ahead of everyone else. It's a bit of an anti-climactic way to set the field. 

Sunday's race is the first race of the first round of the playoffs. The winner will automatically advance to the second round. Here's the entire starting lineup for the Southern 500. 

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Denny Hamlin

3. Kurt Busch

4. Chase Elliott

5. Alex Bowman

6. Kyle Larson

7. Tyler Reddick

8. Aric Almirola

9. Kevin Harvick

10. Martin Truex Jr.

11. Joey Logano

12. Kyle Busch

13. Christopher Bell

14. William Byron

15. Michael McDowell

16. Brad Keselowski

17. Bubba Wallace

18. Ryan Preece

19. Ryan Newman

20. Justin Haley

21. Austin Dillon

22. Erik Jones

23. Ross Chastain

24. Chase Briscoe

25. Corey LaJoie

26. Daniel Suarez

27. BJ McLeod

28. Josh Bilicki

29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

30. Matt DiBenedetto

31. Cole Custer

32. Anthony Alfredo

33. Cody Ware

34. Chris Buescher

35. Joey Gase

36. James Davison

37. Quin Houff

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