Hamlin to lead Charlotte Roval field

Denny Hamlin, the only driver locked into the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, will start from the pole in Sunday’s elimination race at the Charlotte Roval.

Hamlin will lead the field to the green flag in the Bank of America Roval 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC) alongside Brad Keselowski. Neither driver has a win on the course. Keselowski is 20 points above the cutline.

Joey Logano will start third, Christopher Bell starts fourth, and Martin Truex Jr. starts fifth. Bell is one of the four drivers below the cutline.

Ryan Blaney starts sixth, Kevin Harvick starts seventh, Chase Elliott starts eighth, Kyle Busch starts ninth, and Kyle Larson rounds out the top 10. Harvick is the first driver below the cutline. Elliott is the two-time defending race winner.

The final two playoff drivers on the starting grid are William Byron in 11th and teammate Alex Bowman in 12th. Both Hendrick Motorsports drivers are below the cutline.

AJ Allmendinger will be in the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing. Allmendinger starts 33rd.

Scott Heckert is back in the No. 78 for Live Fast Motorsports. Heckert starts 35th.

Joey Hand makes his Cup Series debut in the No. 52 for Rick Ware Racing. Hand starts 36th.

There are 39 drivers entered at Charlotte.