CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Cup Series will head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the second time in 2022. The return to the 1.5-mile facility will also mark the opening race of the Round of 8.

Both Chase Elliott and William Byron enter the penultimate round of the playoffs with their championship hopes still going strong. Should one of them win the championship in Phoenix next month, it would be the third straight season that a Hendrick Motorsports driver claimed the ultimate prize in stock car racing.

RELATED: How Hendrick Motorsports' drivers stack up heading to Las Vegas

Cup Series action came to Las Vegas in 1998 and has held 29 events since then. Following the track's reconfiguration for the 2007 season, the track continued to maintain the original shape but increased banking in the turns to 20 degrees. The front stretch and back straightaway utilize nine degrees of banking. From a fan’s perspective, the Nevada track is also home to the "Neon Garage," which allows fans a closer look at the competition through an elevated viewing room.

During the Cup Series’ first visit to Las Vegas this season, Alex Bowman claimed victory over teammate Kyle Larson. Bowman surged on the final restart to score the win - his seventh in NASCAR's top series and his first with 2022’s Next Gen car. The Tucson, Arizona, native led 16 laps in the process and scored the stage one win.

Larson paced the field for 27 laps on his way to the second-place result. Las Vegas is one of the 30-year-old's best tracks in the series. He won the spring race at this track in 2021 for his first victory with Hendrick Motorsports. The Elk Grove, California, native has five top-five finishes, nine top-10s and an average finish of 9.2 at the 1.5-mile facility. 

RELATED: Photos: Inside Bowman's victory celebration at Las Vegas

Byron’s day resulted in a top-five finish, putting three Hendrick Motorsports entries in that statistical category. The 24-year-old driver led eight laps over the course of the race while contending at the front of the pack. He has two top-10 finishes in his last three starts at the venue and he has earned the most points in the playoffs

Elliott drove the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to a ninth-place finish, ensuring that all four Hendrick Motorsports cars came home inside the top-10. The regular-season champion has two straight top 10s at Las Vegas. 

Bowman will sidelined this weekend as he recovers from a concussion suffered following an accident in the Sept. 25 event at Texas Motor Speedway. Noah Gragson will once again fill in for Bowman and drive the No. 48 Ally/Koker's Garage Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.This marks Gragson's first premier series start at his home track.

RELATED: See every angle of the No. 48 Ally/Koker's Garage Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Since coming onto the Cup Series schedule, Hendrick Motorsports has earned seven victories on the 1.5-mile circuit. Four of these victories came from Jimmie Johnson, who remains the winningest driver in track history. Three other drivers have added to the total for Rick Hendrick’s organization with Jeff Gordon, Larson, and Bowman each accounting for a single triumph.

Here is what you need to know to catch this weekend’s action.


Group practice will begin at 12:05 ET on Saturday, Oct. 15, and will be broadcast on the NBC Sports App with USA Network providing coverage at 12:30 p.m. ET. Group qualifying will follow practice and begin at 12:50 p.m. ET on USA Network.

Elliott is in Group A, while Gragson, Larson and Byron are in Group B.


The 267-lap Cup Series main event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 16, and will be broadcast on NBC


The race will be on PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).


Yes. Download the NBC Sports App for online coverage. Fans can also keep up with the action on Twitter by following @TeamHendrick.  

Data provided by Racing Insights

3: Victories by Hendrick Motorsports entries on 1.5-mile circuits this season, the most of any team in 2022. Bowman (Las Vegas), Byron (Atlanta Motor Speedway) and Elliott (Atlanta) have won on that track length this year.

3.57: Gragson’s average finish at Las Vegas in his Xfinity Series career. He has also finished inside the top-six positions at his home track in all seven of his starts.

4: Top-two finishes from Larson at Las Vegas. The 30-year-old driver has also finished inside the top-two positions in two of the last three races at the Nevada facility.

90: In the series' previous stops at Martinsville and Las Vegas this season, Elliott earned a combined 90 points, which ranks second in the Cup Series. Both facilities will see playoff races in the Round of 8.

222: Byron’s total points earned in the playoffs. The sum is six markers better than second place Denny Hamlin.