1. The pole-sitter at any NASCAR race has the option of starting on the right or left side of the front row, but always takes the inside for the shortest distance around. At road courses such as Watkins Glen or Sonoma, Calif., they might consider a move more because the course has right and left turns.
2. The fastest 38 cars attempting to qualify earn spots on time, while positions 39-through-43 are determined by factors such as previous season's final owners standings, current owners standings and former champions.
3. The 43rd starting spot is reserved for a former Nextel Cup champion who has failed to make the field with the other criteria.
4. Car owners in the top 45 in the previous year's standings start the season with four provisionals and accrue another for every six races attempted (with a maximum of 10). Provisionals are allotted first to the highest-ranked team owner not qualifying on time and continue in descending order.
5. The Daytona 500 uses two qualifying races to determine the starting grid.