CONCORD, N.C. - With one race to go in the Round of 8 of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Chase Elliott and William Byron are above the cutoff line following the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Byron finished 12th in the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, while Elliott placed 14th in the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet. Both drivers did earn valuable stage points that aided their efforts to be above the elimination mark.
Three spots remain in play for the Championship 4 on the driver's side after Kyle Larson's win at Homestead-Miami. Larson's win, though, did lock the No. 5 team into the owner's Championship 4.
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Turning to Martinsville Speedway - site of the Round of 8 elimination race - Hendrick Motorsports has 27 wins at the .526-mile Virginia venue. That mark is the organization's best of any track on the circuit. Elliott's Round of 8 win in 2020 punched his Championship 4 ticket and a week later, he won the title in Phoenix. Byron is the most recent winner at the track with a victory under the lights in April.
Get the lowdown on how the two Hendrick Motorsports playoff drivers are positioned heading to "The Paperclip." Be sure to tune in to the race on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
Chase Elliott, No. 9
POINTS POSITION: Third
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: +11
MIAMI RESULT: 14th
SPRING MARTINSVILLE RESULT: 10th
MARTINSVILLE OUTLOOK: In 14 starts at the short track, Elliott has one win, five top-five finishes and eight top-10s. The victory came in the Round of 8 race in 2020 when he entered below the cutoff line. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native would go on to win the title that season. In the spring race at Martinsville, Elliott earned the pole position and led 185 laps - one of three times in the last four races at the .526-mile venue that he has led at least one-third of the laps run. The regular-season champion will need to qualify well and earn a solid number of stage points (much as he did at Homestead-Miami) to bolster his chances to advance.
William Byron, No. 24
POINTS POSITION: Fourth
POSITION TO CUTOFF LINE: +5
MIAMI RESULT: 12th
SPRING MARTINSVILLE RESULT: WON
MARTINSVILLE OUTLOOK: Byron enters as the last driver above the cutoff line. He is the most recent race winner at Martinsville and has three straight top-five finishes there. In nine starts, he has a total of four top-five finishes and five top-10s. A win by a driver below the elimination line would put Byron in a precarious position. Just like his teammate Elliott, qualifying well and scoring stage points are essential to aiding the No. 24 team's chances to advance. The 24-year-old has qualified in the top three positions in four of the last five races this season.
DRIVER STANDINGS ENTERING MARTINSVILLE
1-Joey Logano: 4,106 points (LOCKED IN WITH LAS VEGAS WIN)
2-Ross Chastain: 4,101 points
3-Chase Elliott: 4,093 points
4-William Byron: 4,087 points
5-Denny Hamlin: 4,082 points
6-Ryan Blaney: 4,069 points
7-Christopher Bell: 4,054 points
8-Chase Briscoe: 4,043 points
Kyle Larson and the No. 5 team are locked into the owner's Championship 4 with their win at Homestead-Miami. Larson led 199 laps to score his third win of the season. Prior to that victory, the No. 5 team had been below the cutoff line and Martinsville has historically been a tough track for the 30-year-old driver (20.5 average finish in 15 starts).
OWNER STANDINGS ENTERING MARTINSVILLE
1-No. 22 team: 4,106 points (LOCKED IN WITH LAS VEGAS WIN)
2-No. 5 team: 4,086 points (LOCKED IN WITH HOMESTEAD-MIAMI WIN)
3-No. 1 team: 4,101 points
4-No. 9 team: 4,093 points
5-No. 24 team: 4,087 points
6-No. 11 team: 4,082 points
7-No. 20 team: 4,054 points
8-No. 14 team: 4,043 points