CONCORD, N.C. – Sunday afternoon, the opening round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs comes to a close with an elimination race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
It will be just the second-ever race on the “roval,” and four drivers will see their playoff runs come to an end when the checkered flag waves.
Take a look below at how Hendrick Motorsports stacks up at the Charlotte road course.
- Last season, Hendrick Motorsports captured one top-five finish and three top-10s in the inaugural “roval” race. Those three top-10s tied with Stewart-Haas Racing for the most by any team in the race. The organization also had three drivers start in the top six at the "roval" in 2018.
- Since the start of 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has won two of the five races on road courses, and won four of the 10 stages in those races. In that span, it has led 157 laps – the most of all teams – and swept the front row in the most recent road-course qualifying at Watkins Glen with Chase Elliott in first and William Byron in second.
- Elliott is set to make his 10th Cup Series start on a road course this weekend. In his previous nine starts on road courses, he has collected two wins (tied for the third-most wins by active drivers), three top-five finishes, five top-10s and a total of 144 laps led – 135 since the beginning of 2018 (the most of any driver). He has started inside the top five in each of the last six road course races, and his average starting position of 2.5 on road courses this season is the second-best of all drivers. In last year’s event at the Charlotte road course the driver took home a fifth- and sixth-place finish in the beginning of the stages en route to a sixth-place finish.
- Last year, Byron had a solid, top-10 day at the 2.28-mile “roval” until a flat tire mired him deep in the field before a late-race incident ended his day early. Despite the results not reflecting the day he was having, the sophomore driver is still optimistic about this weekend. In two road-course races this season, Byron has the highest average starting position in the field (2.0) after starting on the front row at both Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Byron has shown strength on the road courses in 2019, including capturing his first Cup Series stage win at Sonoma.
- Last year’s finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s "roval" was one for the highlight reels. Jimmie Johnson was challenging Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap of the race for the lead. He came off Turn 4 to make the pass but ended up tagging Truex and causing both cars to spin on the front stretch. The third-place car took the win and Johnson was eliminated from playoff contention despite an eighth-place finish. This time the driver is looking for redemption. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers, and his next trip to Victory Lane will be his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win.
- Last season, Alex Bowman qualified third and crossed the line fourth after 109 laps at the Charlotte road course. In addition to his “roval” start, the Tucson, Arizona, native has seven starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval and he owns two top-10 finishes in his last two events at the track. In his last five starts at road courses with Hendrick Motorsports, Bowman has scored stage points in six of the 10 total stages. The driver’s lowest finish in those last five road-course starts still has him in the top 15 with three 14th-place results.
Catch the elimination race at the “roval” this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.