Joey Logano to start first at Martinsville

Joey Logano walks off the stage at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The top starter in the first race of the third round of the playoffs is a driver who didn’t make the playoff field.

Joey Logano will start first for Sunday afternoon’s race at Martinsville ahead of playoff drivers Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Ryn Blaney. Logano’s lap in the third round just edged out Truex.

Logano won a race at Richmond in the spring but NASCAR took the playoff implications away from the win after his car failed inspection. That meant Logano was no longer automatically qualified for the playoffs and he didn’t win the rest of the way or have enough points to make the 16-driver playoff field.

Here’s how the field will line up for Sunday’s race, which goes green just after 3 p.m. ET. Jimmie Johnson spun during his qualifying attempt in the second round and will likely start at the rear of the field because his team will need to change tires.

1. Joey Logano
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Chase Elliott
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Erik Jones
9. Kyle Larson
10. Aric Almirola
11. Kurt Busch
12. Kasey Kahne
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Kyle Busch
15. Daniel Suarez
16. Jamie McMurray
17. Matt Kenseth
18. Ryan Newman
19. Paul Menard
20. Michael McDowell
21. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23. Danica Patrick
24. Jimmie Johnson
25. Austin Dillon
26. Ty Dillon
27. AJ Allmendinger
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. Chris Buescher
30. Cole Whitt
31. David Ragan
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Landon Cassill
34. Trevor Bayne
35. Gray Gaulding
36. Corey LaJoie
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
38. Kyle Weatherman
39. Carl Long
40. Hermie Sadler

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!