Sunday’s Cup Series clinch scenarios at the Charlotte ROVAL

The Bank of America ROVAL 400 (Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the last chance for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contenders to secure their spot in the Round of 8. Only one driver has locked themselves into the Round of 8 – Chase Elliott – heading into this weekend leaving 11 Playoff contenders vying for just seven positions.

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round: Chase Elliott.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 8th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson or Daniel Suarez.

  1. Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 21 points
  2. Ross Chastain: Would clinch with 26 points
  3. Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 33 points
  4. Joey Logano: Would clinch with 36 points
  5. Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 36 points
  6. Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with 42 points
  7. Chase Briscoe: Would clinch with 54 points
  8. Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 54 points
  9. William Byron: Could only clinch with help
  10. Christopher Bell: Could only clinch with help
  11. Alex Bowman: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Chase Briscoe or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 7th winless driver in the standings.

  1. Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 23 points
  2. Ross Chastain: Would clinch with 28 points
  3. Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 35 points
  4. Joey Logano: Would clinch with 38 points
  5. Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 38 points
  6. Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with 44 points
  7. Chase Briscoe: Could only clinch with help
  8. Austin Cindric: Could only clinch with help
  9. William Byron: Could only clinch with help
  10. Christopher Bell: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman.

Keep Digging: Drivers that have raced their way into the Round of 8

Since the introduction of the ‘elimination style’ format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, several drivers have raced their way into the Round of 8 in the sixth and final cutoff race of the Round of 12.

2014: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Matt Kenseth was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings, one point back from the Round of 8 cutoff and Brad Keselowski was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, 19 points behind the Round of 8 cutoff. Brad Keselowski won the race at Talladega and automatically advanced to the next round. Matt Kenseth finished second at Talladega and advanced on points to the Round of 8 knocking Kasey Kahne (12th-place finish at Talladega) and Kyle Busch (40th-place finish at Talladega) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Kyle Busch was second in the Playoff standings 26 points above the cutline and Kasey Kahne was eighth in the Playoff standings just one point above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2015: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2015, Kyle Busch was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings just six points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Kyle Busch finished 11th at Talladega and advanced on points knocking his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin (37th-place finish at Talladega due to an incident) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Denny Hamlin was second in the Playoff standings, 18 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2016: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2016, Denny Hamlin was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, six points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Hamlin went on to finish third at Talladega and advanced on points knocking Martin Truex Jr. (40th-place finish at Talladega due to an engine failure) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Martin Truex Jr. was sixth in the Playoff standings, 13 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2017: Heading to Kansas (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2017, Kyle Busch was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings, seven points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Busch went on to finish 10th at Kansas and advanced on points knocking Kyle Larson (39th-place finish at Kansas due to an engine failure) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Kyle Larson was third in the Playoff standings, 29 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2018: The four drivers below the Round of 8 cutline heading into the sixth race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Kansas Speedway – Brad Keselowski (-1 point from cutoff), Ryan Blaney (-5), Kyle Larson (-19) and Alex Bowman (-51) – all failed to advance to the Round of 8 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Kansas race. At Kansas, Larson finished third, Keselowski finished sixth, Blaney finished seventh and Bowman finished ninth.

2019: Heading to Kansas Speedway (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Chase Elliott was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, 15 points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Elliott went on to finish second at Kansas and advanced on points knocking Brad Keselowski (19th-place finish at Kansas) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Keselowski was fifth in the Playoff standings, nine points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2020: Heading to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2020, Kurt Busch was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, five points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Kurt Busch went on to finish fourth in the Charlotte Road Course race and advanced on points knocking Austin Dillon (19th-place finish at the Charlotte ROVAL) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Dillon was eighth in the Playoff standings tied with Kyle Busch (ninth) on points (3,053 each) along the Round of 8 cutline.

2021: The four drivers below the Round of 8 cutline heading into the sixth race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course – Kevin Harvick (-9 points from cutoff), Christopher Bell (-28), William Byron (-44) and Alex Bowman (-52) – all failed to advance to the Round of 8 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Charlotte ROVAL race. At the Charlotte Road Course, Harvick finished 33rd, Bell finished eighth, Byron finished 11th and Bowman finished 10th.

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