CONCORD, N.C. – With one race left in the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Chase Elliott’s win at Talladega Superspeedway locks him into the Round of 8.
Elliott’s victory – his series-best fifth of the season – marked the first time in the playoffs that a playoff driver won. It marks the sixth straight seasons that Elliott has reached the Round of 8.
RELATED: Elliott wins at Talladega, locks into the Round of 8
William Byron finished 12th at Talladega, while Kyle Larson placed 18th but picked up 11 stage points for a solid points day. Alex Bowman was sidelined for the race after experiencing concussion-like symptoms following an accident at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25.
Hendrick Motorsports has won the last three races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Elliott won in 2019 and 2020 and Larson overcame a host of mid-race issues to score the win in last year’s race. The driver of the No. 5 is also the winner of the most recent road course race in the series, which came at Watkins Glen International in August.
Get the lowdown on how each of the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are positioned heading into the elimination race in the Round of 12. Be sure to tune in to the race at the Charlotte ROVAL on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
PHOTOS: See Elliott, No. 9 team celebrate Talladega win
Chase Elliott, No. 9
POINTS POSITION: First
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: LOCKED IN WITH TALLADGEA WIN
TALLADEGA RESULT: WON
CHARLOTTE ROVAL OUTLOOK: The Charlotte ROVAL represents a chance for Elliott to pad his playoff point total ahead of the Round of 8. He already has a spot in that round locked up with his Talladega victory and his 46 playoff points are the most in the field. His two ROVAL wins are among seven road course wins on his resume – best among current Cup Series drivers. He also has the best average finish at the 2.32-mile road course layout at 5.0. The 26-year-old has scored the most points in this year’s five road course races.
Kyle Larson, No. 5
POINTS POSITION: Sixth
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: +18
TALLADEGA RESULT: 18th
CHARLOTTE ROVAL OUTLOOK: The reigning champion is in a good spot in regards to advancing onto the next round. Larson is the defending race winner at the ROVAL and has a win at one of this year’s five road course races (Watkins Glen International). His four road course wins are tied for the second-most among active drivers with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. The 30-year-old’s 60 laps led at this venue are third-most in the field.
William Byron, No. 24
POINTS POSITION: Seventh
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: +14
TALLADEGA RESULT: 12th
CHARLOTTE ROVAL OUTLOOK: Talladega saw the end of Byron’s four-race top-10 streak to open the playoffs. Byron has two sixth-place finishes in four starts at the Charlotte ROVAL. Over the past three races, he has led 80 laps at the ROVAL, which is the most among all drivers at the track. After appeal, Byron’s 25-point penalty from an on-track incident at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25 was rescinded. The decision moves Byron 14 markers above the cutline.
Alex Bowman, No. 48
POINTS POSITION: 12th
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: -66
TALLADEGA RESULT: Did not race
CHARLOTTE ROVAL OUTLOOK: Bowman is out for the race at the Charlotte ROVAL with continued concussion symptoms following an accident at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25.
STANDINGS ENTERING CHARLOTTE ROVAL
1-Chase Elliott: 3,103 points (LOCKED IN)
2-Ryan Blaney: 3,101 points
3-Ross Chastain: 3,097 points
4-Denny Hamlin: 3,090 points
5-Joey Logano: 3,087 points
6-Kyle Larson: 3,087 points
7-William Byron: 3,083 points
8-Daniel Suarez: 3,081 points
9-Chase Briscoe: 3,069 points
10-Austin Cindric: 3,069 points
11-Christopher Bell: 3,036 points
12-Alex Bowman: 3,015 points