Just eight drivers remain eligible to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship following the round of 12. Here is how they stack up to begin the round of 8.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, who has now won four consecutive NASCAR Cup Series road course races, closed out the round of 12 of the 2020 playoffs with another victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval to lock himself into the round of 8 for the fourth consecutive season.
Elliott, who has won three races so far this season, entered the round of 12 finale as one of six drivers above the round of 8 cut line who had not yet locked himself into the round of 8.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin had already locked themselves in by winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, respectively, to open up the round of 12.
Five drivers joined Elliott, Busch and Hamlin by the time the dust had settled at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and are slated to battle over the course of the three races at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway to advance to the winner-take-all Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway.
Each of these eight drivers starts the round of 8 with 4,000 points, plus the playoff points they have accrued by winning stages, winning races, and finishing the regular season in the top 10 in the point standings.
Stage wins are worth one playoff point each, race wins are worth five playoff points each, and between one and 15 playoff points were awarded to the top 10 drivers from the regular season point standings.
Accruing playoff points will no longer be crucial for drivers in the round of 8 itself because of the fact that the four drivers who enter the Championship 4 will all start the race with exactly 5,000 points, and the highest finisher will be crowned champion, with stage points not mattering either.
Of these eight drivers, four are set to advance to the Championship 4 following the three-race round of 8, so the current cut line sits between the fourth and fifth place drivers. Here is how they stack up heading into the round of 8 opener at Kansas Speedway.
Rank – Driver, Car, Team, Manufacturer: Points (Behind)
1st – Kevin Harvick, #4, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford: 4067 (+45)
2nd – Denny Hamlin, #11, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota: 4054 (+32)
3rd – Brad Keselowski, #2, Team Penske, Ford: 4035 (+13)
4th – Chase Elliott, #9, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet: 4027 (+5)
——————CHAMPIONSHIP 4 CUT LINE——————
5th – Joey Logano, #22, Team Penske, Ford: 4022 (-5)
6th – Martin Truex Jr., #19, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota: 4017 (-10)
7th – Alex Bowman, #88, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet: 4009 (-18)
8th – Kurt Busch, #1, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet: 4006 (-21)
Tune in to NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, October 18 for the live broadcast of the round of 12 opener, the Hollywood Casino 400, from Kansas Speedway.