Bell wins Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400, Briscoe bumps Larson out, 5 takeaways from a chaotic ending

CONCORD, North Carolina — The first 102 laps of Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 was as tame as an elimination race could possibly be. Chase Elliott was going to win and Chase Briscoe was going to bump his way in and take Daniel Suarez out in the process. However, that debris caution Lap 103 changed the entire complexity of not just this race, but how this championship fight would transpire.

Christopher Bell went from no where to a walk off victory to advance to the Round of 8 via an upset win on the Charlotte ROVAL. That plus Austin Cindric being spun by Erik Jones in the bus stop coming to the white flag, Briscoe rebounding being spun by Austin Dillon on the bus stop a few laps prior and Kyle Larson’s toe link being broke allowed Bell and Briscoe to bump their ways in and Larson and Suarez to fall out.

“Man, you’ve just got to be there at the end of these things,” said Bell, who entered the race 33 points below the cut line for the Round of 8. “I keep watching all these races where the fastest car doesn’t always win. No secret that road courses have not been our strength this year. 

“We were just there at the right time. We obviously weren’t in position to win (before taking tires). We rolled the dice, gambled, and it paid off for us.

“I didn’t see it coming,” Bell admitted. “Like, the road courses all year long, we had not been strong. Normally they’re good for me. Last year with the Gen-6 car, got my first road course win, competed for several more wins. But this year just wasn’t happening.”

It was a dramatic ending that saw 2 cautions in the first 103 laps to 2 in the final 9. It was pure chaos at the end to where more drivers spent time off track or in spins than on it.

Prior to that, the only yellows were for stage breaks as this was Elliott’s race to lose. He got to the lead during the final pit sequence. AJ Allmendinger had to pit later on his second to last stint in order to preserve his fuel for the off chance of an overtime. Tyler Reddick had a fuel issue earlier in the race so they had a longer stop in the need of 4 extra gallons of fuel. When they did so, it allowed Elliott to capitalize.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver pit on Lap 71. Reddick did so on Lap 72 and Allmendinger on Lap 74. When Erik Jones pit for his final time on Lap 76, it handed the lead to Elliott who had cycled ahead of both Reddick and Allmendinger in the running order.

He was checked out and ready to win his second straight race. Until that debris caution…

At that time, Elliott, Allmendinger and Reddick were among a handful of drivers who didn’t pit. Track position was the name of the game so it would have been foolish to hit pit lane if you were them.

In the case for Bell, he went for broke and had to pit. They pit before both stages ended because points were no value for him on Sunday. He entered the day 45 points below the cutline and needed to only win to advance on. Prior to the Lap 103 caution, he was outside the top 5. So, they elected to pit on a track that rewarded new tires.

Would it be enough time however?

We’d go back green on Lap 106. Bell was in 11th. Elliott was pushed off track on the restart, then spun by Reddick in Turn 6 ending his chance at a win while running 2nd.

The reason he was in 2nd was because AJ Allmendinger pushed him off while Kevin Harvick snuck by each. Harvick then pushed Allmendinger off to take the lead which with Allmendinger and Elliott now behind, it set up Harvick vs. Reddick vs. Bell who went from 11th to 3rd by time we got to the backstretch.

“I thought I had a pretty good launch (on the second-to-last restart) and thought I got through (turns) 1 and 2 good,” Elliott said. “I thought I gave AJ (Allmendinger) enough room through one and two to not run into the fence. I don’t know if he just got loose, overdrove Turn 3 or whatever, but I ended up on the outside. Whatever the reason, he ran wide and I ended up the track in a super compromised situation.”

“With those restarts, I knew I was kind of used up already,” Allmendinger said of his side. “I got a good restart there and when Chase and I touched kind of through (Turn) two, I went to set up for three and it turned me sideways and I slid a little more. That was unfortunate because that allowed (Kevin Harvick) to get to my bumper and we know Kevin is going to do that if he gets any chance. That’s a part of racing and going for the win.”

Bell had fresher tires compared to the 2 cars in front. Harvick and Reddick last pit on Lap 72. Bell got by Reddick a lap later and now was in 2nd with only Harvick in front. Then another caution flew. Bell didn’t like to see that. On pace, Bell was going to catch Harvick. Now, we had another restart and he just saw how chaotic the last one was.

On that restart, he got a great launch and passed Harvick. He’d never look back en route to his 3rd career win, 2 of which coming on ROVAL’s. His first career win came last year on the Daytona ROVAL. His other win was at Loudon earlier this season.

“Yeah, just because restarts are so hectic and crazy here at the Roval,” he said on why a caution could have hurt him there. “We see so many pileups getting into turn one. I knew I had a big advantage, regardless if it went green or there was a yellow and I was restarting on the front row. I knew that I had the advantage.

“But I felt like there were a lot more obstacles outside of my control that could take me out of it once the yellow flag flew. But fortunately it was pretty calm. The front row was able to get away. I didn’t have to worry about guys behind me putting me three-wide.

“It ended up being smooth sailing. But I did not expect that to be the case. I thought we would be three- or four-wide getting into turn one.”

Harvick finished 2nd in his No. 4 Ford for his 4th top 11 in 5 Charlotte ROVAL starts. Kyle Busch who was also on the same strategy as Bell was 3rd in his No. 18 Toyota for his second straight top 5 here.

“I knew we were going to have to have a perfect corner there with Christopher having such fresher tires,” said Harvick. “He was able to get through traffic and was able to roll through a little bit more speed in Turn 1, 2, 3 and 4 and just got in front of me, but we were able to hold Kyle off so it’s still a good day. Our guys did a great job of putting us in position and having a chance. We were half a lap there from being in the right spot. It didn’t all work out but still a good day. I knew we were in a bit of a pickle there with Christopher on new tires and I just didn’t want to blow the first corner, I wanted to give us a chance he was just able to roll more speed than we were and from there it was just kind of like damage control and make sure you bring the thing home and that’s what we did. They did a good job. They got us in position and that caution coming out killed us there. We were half a lap from coming to the white and caution, so they did a good job.”

Logano, the pole winner, took the first stage wire-to-wire but was buried in traffic after a pit stop on Lap 27 and finished 18th.  

AJ Allmendinger ran fourth after leading 24 laps, followed by Justin Haley, Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace, Reddick, Briscoe and Austin Dillon.

With points reset entering the Round of 8, Elliott holds the top spot in the NASCAR Cup standings with a 20-point edge over second place Logano.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Menards/Richmond Ford, Todd Gilliland, driver of the #38 First Phase Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

How Larson and Suarez Was Out And Briscoe In

Kyle Larson got into the wall coming out of the infield section late in Sunday’s race. He had to hit pit lane to repair a broken toe link. He’d return 5 laps down. However, he had enough points, right?

Not even Cliff Daniels felt like they were in danger. Christopher Bell was needing to win and outside the top 5. Daniel Suarez was also 5 laps down after battling a power steering issue that plagued him the entire second half of this race. His teammate Ross Chastain was 9 laps down after being behind the wall and coming back out himself after he too had contact with the infield wall.

That should have been enough of a buffer shouldn’t it?

Instead, it proved to be all for not. Larson was a shocking second round exit in a wild playoffs that have seen 5 of the 8 champions during this era bounced before the Round of 8.

Martin Truex Jr. (2017 champion) didn’t even make the playoffs. Kevin Harvick (2014 champion) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019 champion) were each eliminated in the first round. Now, Larson joins them.

Chase Briscoe was running 5th then spun by Erik Jones on Lap 107 dropping him down to 25th. That put Larson ahead of Austin Cindric by 5 points at that point. Then a caution came out. Larson was looking good again with Cindric not pitting and Briscoe pitting.

Larson was +9 coming to the final restart. Then Cindric made a run but was also spun by Jones in the bus stop and saw his championship hopes dashed then. Meanwhile, Briscoe on new tires was coming. He went from 21st to 12th to 9th while Larson was stuck 5 laps down without any positions to gain.

“Yeah, man, what a wild day,” Briscoe said. “It took every bit of it there at the end. To be easily in, then that debris caution comes out (on Lap 104). Still, I thought we had a really good shot of making it in. Get wrecked on the backstretch. Crazy at the end of these races, especially the road course races, how much can change so quickly.

“I had no idea we were even going to have a shot (on the final restart). Truthfully, I knew we were probably out. I saw the 2 (Cindric) wreck, I thought maybe there’s still a chance. We had so much fresher tires than anybody. (Crew chief) Johnny (Klausmeier) pumped them way up to qualifying pressures, let me go attack, have the ball in my hands.”

That pushed Briscoe in and Larson out.

“I just made way too many mistakes all year long,” Larson said. “Made another one today. Ultimately cost us an opportunity to go chase another championship.

“Just extremely mad at myself. I let the team down a number of times this year, and let them down in a big way today.”

For Larson, it was a rough defense season. He won the 2nd race of the year in Fontana and then 2nd a week later in Vegas. However, he didn’t reach victory lane until August in Watkins Glen. He had 6 finishes outside the top 20 this season which is why he says he made way too many mistakes this year to repeat.

Only two drivers since 1995 have ever won back-to-back championships. Larson won’t be the third. He’s the first repeat champion to not make the Round of 8 since Kyle Busch was bounced in the Round of 12 in 2020. Every other defending series champion in this format has at least made the Round of 8.

Kevin Harvick won the 2014 title and was in the Championship 4 in 2015.

Kyle Busch won the 2015 title and was in the Championship 4 in 2016.

Jimmie Johnson won the 2016 title and was in the Round of 8 in 2017.

Martin Truex Jr. won the 2017 title and was in the Championship 4 in 2018.

Joey Logano won the 2018 title and was in the Round of 8 in 2019.

Kyle Busch won the 2019 title and was bounced in the Round of 12 in 2020.

Chase Elliott won the 2020 title and was in the Championship 4 in 2021.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Elliott Gave Up Stage Win For Race Win And It Nearly Paid Off

On a day that was so difficult to pass, Elliott was in a prime position to score 5 more playoff points which would have given him 51 in total to take with him to the Round 8. Unfortunately, that late race spin at the hands of Reddick cost him those points.

He could have at least had an additional playoff point by a Stage 2 win but elected to pit instead to get track position at the start of the final stage.

Elliott and Alan Gustafson had a perfect early plan. They started 9th, pit on Lap 21 and was in position as the top driver that didn’t need to pit on the second stage to pick up a stage win. However, Gustafson saw how difficult it was to pass and called an audible. They punted on the stage win (1 playoff point) for the chance at a race win (5 playoff points) so they hit pit lane on Lap 47.

It should have worked.

He was 3rd to start the final stage and the chaos for the final round of spots, plus that decision to not go for the stage win in the second stage is to what gave Elliott a chance at the win before circumstances outside of his hands took it all away.

“Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) called a great race,” Elliott said. “Our No. 9 Chevy wasn’t great, but it was plenty good enough to win. Our team called a perfect race to get us the lead, and our pit stops were really good to not to have any mistakes and get us a really nice cushion. We had a lot of laps on our tires, but I could maintain my pace out there with having a nice gap. We’ll try again next week.”

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Action Industries Chevrolet, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Strategy Race

Strategy was the name of the game on Sunday. Yes, the ending was chaotic and likely overshadowed everything before it, but without it, this race was 99% tame. That’s because with stage breaks, everyone knew when and where the cautions would occur. So with a tame race in nature and the 6th year of racing on road courses with stages involved, the teams and drivers are just too smart to know when and when not to push. With a Next Gen car suited to handle better on road courses, this is exactly what you get.

You saw drivers not caring for points pit at the end of both stages to forego points for track position. The drivers needing points mostly all took them which flipped them behind those that pit towards the end of each stage at the beginning of the next.

As far as what could fix road course races for the future? Maybe the debut of an option tire.

Formula 1 has it. They’ve got like three options for tires during the course for a race weekend. The NTT IndyCar Series has it to. They have a Black tire (primary) and Red tire (alternate). The options for both series are for alternate tires to be faster in speed but fall off faster too. The primary tires are slower, but they last longer.

It calls for strategy options. Is it time for NASCAR to find one?

Several drivers I talked to say it couldn’t hurt and would be an interesting wrinkle to improve the racing on these tracks. It would allow for strategy plays and ones that would spice the racing up.

I mean, with a new car now, this may be the time to try it. It could help shake up the field with varying strategies and help add another layer to help road courses out some.

It could create some drama that keeps you in turn from the start to the finish. I mean, the INDYCAR races that I cover are wild due to this. Pit strategy and tire options are a real thing and help play the race out differently than it normally would be.

I mean, with stages now, it’s completely altered the way road racing has evolved. In the past, you could go off strategy on road courses and create some new ways to the front. Now, everyone knows when at least two of the cautions are coming and plan accordingly.

With two different tire options for a race, it could shake that up some in the middle of these stages I feel.

“It’s so hard to calculate that out, I mean, when you’re dealing with one or two points, like I said, there at the end. I needed one or two points,” Austin Cindric said. “That one or two points we thought we were going to get, we had some cars we probably didn’t anticipate staying out in stage two that we didn’t think their priority was going to be stage points.

“Miscommunication or a bad call, whatever you want to call it. It’s tough when it is that one or two spot and you’re relying on other guys to make decisions that benefit you.”

Another question is if we should move this race back to the oval.

It’s no secret, road courses and short tracks have looked the worse in terms of the racing package this season. Which heading into this weekend, made me to wonder, how will a ROVAL look? Indianapolis was just alright back in July. If Charlotte looks pedestrian or even a stinker, the question has to come up on if they should run twice here on the oval again?

After Sunday’s race, that question is even louder now.

“It was the type of day where basically wherever you got placed on the track was where you were going to run, unless someone made a mistake in front of you,” said Denny Hamlin. “We preferred that kind of day even though it is what it is even though our team did a great job with strategy and making sure that we junked stage two when we saw we weren’t going to get stage points there. Those guys that were in front of us most of the day ended up behind us and nobody could pass so it worked out nicely for us.”

This intermediate package for the Next Gen has worked. The Coca-Cola 600 produced one of the better races on the oval here in a while. 31 lead changes with a margin of victory of .119-seconds.

It makes you wonder if we could just race twice here on the oval again. However, with NASCAR taking more and more dates away from tracks with 2 races, would Charlotte balk at that in order to keep being unique too?

I don’t necessarily see NASCAR putting 2 oval races at Charlotte and one of which being in the playoffs, especially with Texas being there too.

Texas lost a date already. Bristol has the dirt race for the spring weekend. 2 of the same races at Charlotte may not be enough.

However, this is NASCAR’s base though and 2 races including 1 in the playoffs makes the most sense too no matter what layouts they use. Plus, this race on Sunday was terrible as a cut race without much action before that caution and more about strategy than anything else.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Finish Overshadows Toyota’s Deficit

The road courses have been dismal for the Toyota camp this season and they have to be singing songs of celebration that Charlotte was the 6th and final road course of the season. While they had 2 of the top 3 finishing spots, it wasn’t like they won this race on pure speed. They arguably had the worst speed among the 3 manufacturers on Sunday but strategy and luck put them up front in the end.

Martin Truex Jr. has finished 7th, 26th, 13th, 21st, 23rd and 17th on them. Denny Hamlin was 18th, 31st, 17th, 14th, 20th and 13th himself. Kyle Busch was 28th, 30th, 29th, 11th, 32nd and 3rd while Christopher Bell being 3rd, 27th, 18th, 12th, 8th and 1st.

Even 23XI Racing was off too. Bubba Wallace was 38th, 36th, 35th, 5th, 35th and 7th. The 45 ride which is now the 23 was 32nd, 18th, 23rd, 17th, 16th and 22nd between Kurt Busch and Ty Gibbs.

“I didn’t see it coming,” Bell admitted. “Like, the road courses all year long, we had not been strong. Normally they’re good for me. Last year with the Gen-6 car, got my first road course win, competed for several more wins. But this year just wasn’t happening.

“But with that being said, you see races all the time where the fastest car doesn’t win. I did keep reminding myself that; that we’re not expecting to be a dominant car or a race-winning car, but as long as you’re there at the end of the race, as long as you hang out, put yourself in position, you never know what’s going to happen.

“It worked out we were the first car on tires and I was able to carve through them. Today we were not the fastest car, but we put ourselves in position. My crew chief made a great call to put tires on, and it worked out where we won the race.

“We were there at the end.”

Bell, Hamlin Scary To Watch Moving Into Round of 8, Elliott Wary Of His Own Prospects

Chase Elliott had Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 won. It was signed, sealed and delivered. Then came that fluke Lap 103 caution that altered the complexity of not only the Round of 12 elimination race, but for how this year’s championship could potentially get decided as well.

If not for that caution, Kyle Larson is in and Christopher Bell is out. Also, Elliott would have 51 playoff points to take with him into the third of four rounds of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Instead, Larson is out, Bell is in and so is Chase Briscoe too. Bell got in via a win that was taken away from Elliott due to how the second to last restart transpired.

That cost Elliott 5 much needed playoff points in a round that he feels like he may need them on.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough round,” Elliott admitted after a 20th place finish in Charlotte. “Vegas was a struggle for us in the spring. Homestead, we’ve just been really hit-or-miss there. We did have a test there a couple weeks ago, so hopefully we’ve learned from that. Martinsville, it’s just going to be about how you qualify because I don’t see anybody passing there. We’ll see how it goes. Try to bring our A-game. It would have been nice to have some more points from today, but we didn’t and we’ll try again out in Las Vegas.”

Elliott has finished outside the top 10 in 5 of the last 7 races now on the season. If he doesn’t win in any of the next 3 weeks, then he could be in a dire situation in relying on points and those 5 points that got away from him on Sunday could come back to bite him.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

5 of the 8 years under this format saw the regular season champion march all the way to the Championship 4 including 4 of the last 5 years. In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the regular season title and didn’t win in the Round of 8 to get to the final round. Same for Kyle Busch in 2019. Kevin Harvick won in 2018 (Texas) and Kyle Larson won 2 of the 3 races in this round last year.

Prior to a runner-up in last year’s playoff race in Vegas, Elliott had just two career top fives on this track with his last three finishes being 26th, 22nd,13th and 9th respectively. He has five finishes of 22nd or worse there too and was only 29th and 11th at Kansas. For Homestead, he has 3 top 7’s in his last 5 starts there, but he’s winless overall and also at Darlington too. He was 5th and 36th this past year at Darlington and 21st the last time out at Homestead.

Martinsville is his best shot. Elliott won the pole and dominated the first 2 stages back in the spring before a pit road penalty relegated him to a top 10 instead of a top 5. Elliott won the 2020 Fall race en route to a Championship 4 appearance here. He also has four top fives in his last 7 Martinsville starts, three of them being in the top two.

What makes him nervous is how well others that remain in the postseason could be this round. The Toyota’s may be difficult to beat in the next two weeks and they now have momentum again.

“All of (the tracks in the third round) are P1 for me and I like all of them,” said Denny Hamlin. “All of them are just perfect for what our strength is, especially with the Toyotas and myself. I’m excited. We had a good test at Martinsville and even though we finished bad there in the spring. We’re going to have to qualify well there and track position is going to be huge. We’re going to go to work and really excited about our prospects in this next round.”

Hamlin won this Vegas race last year and was 4th and 2nd respectively in the 2 Kansas races at that. He also has 3 top 4 finishes in his last 4 Vegas starts too. For Homestead, he swept both stages and the win in 2020 and was 11th last year. Hamlin also had a top 5 car in both Darlington races earlier this season too.

Martinsville ironically enough is going to be his worst track this round. 4 of his last 5 Martinsville finishes have seen him come home 11th or worse (28th in the spring). However, he was dominant prior to that though too.

The driver to finish third in the Championship 4 has made it to at least the Round of 8 in each of the last 5 years with 3 of the 5 being in the Championship 4. That’s good news for Hamlin.

What about for Christopher Bell. The driver to win the 6th round of the playoffs has gone on to win the championship that season 6 times including 2 straight. Bell is also good on these tracks too.

He had a top 10 car the last 2 times out in Vegas and a top 5 in both races at Kansas. He was in the top 10 last year at Homestead and a top 6 in both Darlington races this season too. While Martinsville wasn’t a strong suit for him, on like tracks, he had a pair of top 6’s at Richmond including a runner-up in August as well as a win at Loudon this past July.

“I mean, I feel extremely good about what we have going on here in the next three races,” he said. “Ever since the schedule laid out and we were looking at the Playoffs, the round of 16 all were really good racetracks for us, the Round of 8 were good racetracks for us. The round of 12 with Talladega and this racetrack in there, I was super concerned and nervous. I still felt like we were going to be able to make it through it because we’re really good at Texas and we should be able to get through Texas with a good points day.

“Whenever we left there with a whopping three points, I was just really down, down in the dumps, sad. Then we went to Talladega, and we needed a home run. We needed lot of points, and we didn’t score a lot of points. This whole last two weeks, I had been extremely deflated, just kind of down in the dumps.

“Now I can promise you I’m as excited as ever heading into these next three races.”

You also have to contend with William Byron who won the last race at 2 of the 3 tracks this round. Ross Chastain is always good at Vegas and was 5th in Martinsville this spring. Chase Briscoe has 3 straight top 10 finishes now and won the spring race at Phoenix. I didn’t even mention the Penske tandem still left…Each can win at any of these 3 tracks and will give Elliott a fight for the clock in Martinsville too.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Of Note

Some of the best road racers in NASCAR history are former dirt track stars. No one has won as many road courses in NASCAR history as Jeff Gordon (9). Tony Stewart ranks 2nd best with 8. On Sunday, you saw Christopher Bell, another former dirt star win. Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe, both dirt drivers, were battling for the final spot into the Round of 8. Does dirt racing correlate to this car?

“It’s weird. Seems like dirt guys, especially sprint car guys, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Bell, you’re slipping and sliding so much,” Briscoe said. “You have more power than you can typically put down. It’s similar to a sprint car. The sprint car background definitely helps when you come to a place like this. Cool to see a sprint car guy win and another one move on in the playoffs.”

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 09: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 09, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


  • Only once in 5 years has someone started in the top five and won. Chase Elliott started second in 2020.
  • 4 of the 5 race winners started in the top 10.
  • Starting spots on road courses this season: 16th (COTA), 8th (Sonoma), 4th (Road America), 1st (Indy), 2nd (Watkins Glen), 8th (ROVAL).
  • The 4 years this race has occurred, the winner finished in the top 2 in 3 of the 5 second stages. Ryan Blaney won the second stage in 2018, Elliott won it in 2019 and he was second in 2020 while Kyle Larson was 6th last year.
  • The first stage, Blaney was 10th in 2018, Elliott was ninth in 2019 and he didn’t get a top 10 in 2020 while Larson and Bell didn’t get one in each of the last 2 years now.
  • This year, none of the road course races saw a driver that had won finish in points in Stage 1.
  • In Stage 2, they finished: 8th (COTA), 4th (Sonoma), 10th (Road America), no points (Indy), 8th (Watkins Glen), no points (ROVAL)
  • In 5 of the 6 road courses run, the only laps led by the eventual winner all occurred in the final stage. However, they dominated that final stage too as 3 of the 6 road courses this season were won by a driver that also led the most laps.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has won this race in 3 of the 5 years its been run including 3 of the last 4 years.
  • Just three non-Playoff drivers have won the sixth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:
  • Jeff Gordon (2005) won the Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway he was ranked 15th in the series standings at the time of the win.
  • Clint Bowyer (2011) won the Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway he was ranked 13th in the series standings at the time of the win.
  • Jamie McMurray (2013) won the Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway he was ranked 14th in the series standings at the time of the win.
  • As you can see, it hasn’t happened since the new format was adopted in 2014 and none of the previous three were at Charlotte on the ROVAL.
  • 6 of the last 9 years have seen someone new bump their ways back in on the final race of the second round. Bell was 45 points back entering the day to make the largest gap to overcome. The previous largest was 19.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 63rd Annual Bank of America ROVAL 400

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Concord, North Carolina

Sunday, October 9, 2022

                1. (8)  Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 112.

                2. (22)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 112.

                3. (20)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 112.

                4. (7)  AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, 112.

                5. (13)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 112.

                6. (21)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 112.

                7. (14)  Bubba Wallace (P), Toyota, 112.

                8. (4)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 112.

                9. (17)  Chase Briscoe (P), Ford, 112.

                10. (15)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 112.

                11. (26)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 112.

                12. (30)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 112.

                13. (24)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 112.

                14. (31)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 112.

                15. (37)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 112.

                16. (2)  William Byron (P), Chevrolet, 112.

                17. (19)  Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 112.

                18. (1)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 112.

                19. (25)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet, 112.

                20. (9)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 112.

                21. (5)  Austin Cindric # (P), Ford, 112.

                22. (16)  Ty Gibbs(i), Toyota, 112.

                23. (29)  Noah Gragson(i) (P), Chevrolet, 112.

                24. (12)  Cole Custer, Ford, 112.

                25. (28)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 112.

                26. (6)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 112.

                27. (11)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 112.

                28. (23)  Harrison Burton #, Ford, 111.

                29. (34)  Mike Rockenfeller, Chevrolet, 111.

                30. (32)  Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 111.

                31. (38)  Josh Williams(i), Ford, 110.

                32. (35)  JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 110.

                33. (36)  Loris Hezemans(i), Ford, 110.

                34. (39)  Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 109.

                35. (18)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 107.

                36. (3)  Daniel Suarez (P), Chevrolet, 107.

                37. (10)  Ross Chastain (P), Chevrolet, 103.

                38. (27)  Joey Hand, Ford, Accident, 79.

                39. (33)  Daniil Kvyat(i), Toyota, Engine, 17.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  86.661 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 59 Mins, 54 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.790 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 10 laps.

Lead Changes:  10 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Logano (P) 1-27;T. Reddick 28-30;A. Allmendinger(i) 31-48;R. Chastain (P) 49-51;A. Allmendinger(i) 52-54;T. Reddick 55-72;A. Allmendinger(i) 73-75;E. Jones 76;C. Elliott (P) 77-106;K. Harvick 107-110;C. Bell (P) 111-112.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Chase Elliott (P) 1 time for 30 laps; Joey Logano (P) 1 time for 27 laps; AJ Allmendinger(i) 3 times for 24 laps; Tyler Reddick 2 times for 21 laps; Kevin Harvick 1 time for 4 laps; Ross Chastain (P) 1 time for 3 laps; Christopher Bell (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Erik Jones 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,24,99,12,2,5,14,11,8,16

Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,21,5,16,8,99,22,14,12,9

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