CONCORD, N.C. – The Round of 16 finale arrives this Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, and all three Hendrick Motorsports drivers in the playoffs have a chance to advance.
Four contenders will be eliminated following Sunday’s race, leaving only 12 drivers to move on to the next round.
Currently, Chase Elliott and William Byron are among the top 12 in the standings, with Alex Bowman on the verge in 13th.
The easiest way for any of the three teammates to guarantee a spot in the Round of 12 would be by finding Victory Lane on Sunday. A win would mean automatically advancing.
But all three teammates could also move on to the next round via points. The driver currently in the best position is Elliott, who ranks seventh in the standings, 37 points above the cut line.
The driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 would clinch a spot in the next round by scoring 20 points on Sunday if the win is captured by a playoff driver outside of the top 12. If Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman or Ryan Blaney win, Elliott would clinch with 17 points. If Aric Almirola wins, he would clinch with 18 points, and if Byron wins, he would clinch with 19 points.
Byron would currently be the last driver to advance to the Round of 12, as he ranks 12th, just two points ahead of Bowman.
If there is a new winner on Sunday, Byron would clinch a spot in the Round of 12 on points by scoring 55 points. If there is a repeat winner, or a win by Harvick, Busch, Keselowski, Hamlin, Logano, Elliott, Larson, Newman or Blaney, he would clinch with 52 points. If Almirola wins, he would clinch with 53 points.
Bowman is just below the cut line, two points behind his teammate Byron. If Byron were to win the race, Bowman would clinch his way in on points by scoring 55 points. If there is a repeat winner, or a win by Harvick, Busch, Keselowski, Hamlin, Logano, Elliott, Larson, Newman, Blaney or Almirola, he would clinch with 54 points.
If there is a new winner not mentioned above, Bowman could still clinch on points, but he would require help in the form of finishes from fellow playoff competitors.
Sunday’s elimination race at the “roval” is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.