This weekend 11 of the 12 remaining NASCAR Cup Series championship contenders will be racing for a spot in the Round of Eight. It will not be an easy race as it takes place on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
The term “ROVAL” was created to quickly explain the track is part road course part oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway. There have only been four races held on this configuration at Charlotte Motor Speedway starting in 2018. Chase Elliott has won two of those races (2019,2020). Ryan Blaney was the first winner on the ROVAL in 2018 and Kyle Larson won the race in 2021. All three are in the Playoffs heading this week’s Bank of America ROVAL 400.
Chase clinched his spot in the next round by winning last week’s race. Ryan is in pretty solid position to advance. Kyle is somewhat close to the cutline for elimination. All the post-season drivers (excluding Chase) could find themselves being eliminated if tragedy strikes them during the race at the wrong time. Below is a look at how the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings look heading to the race at the ROVAL.
|Rank||Drivers||Points||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||+/- Cutoff|
|1||Chase Elliott||3,103||5||6||46||In On Wins|
Here is what all the drivers will be facing equally in this weekend’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course Data:
Track Size: 3.67-kilometers / 2.32-miles
Track Type: Road Course
Number of Turns: 17
Elevation Change: 35 degrees
Bank of America ROVAL 400 Data:
Season Race #: 32 of 36 (10-9-22)
Playoff Race #: 6 of 10
Race Length: 109 laps / 400 kilometers / 252.88 miles
Stage 1 and 2 Length: 25 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 59 laps
This is a look at how the 12 NASCAR Playoff drivers have done in their careers racing on the ROVAL.
|Rank||Driver||Races||Poles||Wins||Top Fives||Top 10s||DNFs||Average Finish||Driver Rating|
Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman will have to race aggressively from start to the finish. It is likely their only chance to advance is to win the race.
William Byron and Austin Cindric can advance without winning. However, they are deep enough in a hole in points that they will have to be on the offense from start to finish to accumulate enough points if others don’t stumble pretty severely.
Chase Briscoe will need to be on top of his game and race hard to remain far enough forward that Byron or Cindric don’t push him below the cutline.
The drivers from Daniel Suarez up to Ryan Blaney will need to race smart and hard to remain in position to advance.
Chase Elliott can just race flat out with no worries. His spot in the next round is locked. He can go for his third win at the ROVAL without worry of hurting his Championship hopes.
It will be a fun race to watch. It all starts Sunday, October 9th at 1 p.m. central time (2 p.m. eastern time) in the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
By: Buck Stevens