NASCAR Playoffs Head to Round of 12 Elimination Race at the Charlotte ROVAL

NASCAR Cup Cars racing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 10-10-21
NASCAR Cup Cars racing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 10-10-21 (Photo credit: YouTube)

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.

RankDriversPointsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff Pts+/- Cutoff
1Chase Elliott3,1035646In On Wins
2Ryan Blaney3,101071532
3Ross Chastain3,097252028
4Denny Hamlin3,090231321
5Joey Logano3,087252518
6Kyle Larson3,087242018
7Daniel Suárez3,08112712
8Chase Briscoe3,0691490
9Austin Cindric3,0691160
10William Byron3,0582415-11
11Christopher Bell3,0361413-33
12Alex Bowman3,015127-54
*The drivers in 9th through 12th are currently below the cutline for this round of the Playoffs.

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.

RankDriverRacesPolesWinsTop FivesTop 10sDNFsAverage FinishDriver Rating 
1Chase Elliott4022305.0113.9 
2Ryan Blaney4012405.8101.1 
3Ross Chastain30000023.047.1 
4Denny Hamlin40011012.882.3 
5Joey Logano4001407.296.9 
6Kyle Larson30111013.0112.6 
7Daniel Suárez40000023.266.6 
8Chase Briscoe10000022.059.8 
9Austin Cindric0000000.00.0 
10William Byron41002114.2109.9 
11Christopher Bell20001016.083.8 
12Alex Bowman4002406.085.6 
– Based on four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (2018 – 2021).

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

Buck Stevens