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NASCAR Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin Playoff Round of 8

nascarThe NASCAR Cup Series playoff field is down to eight, with the series headed to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

With the start of a new round in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the contenders get reseeded and are once again faced with trying to earn their spot in the next round.

The South Point 400 (Oct. 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio ch. 90) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will kick-off the Round of 8, the first of three races the contenders have to navigate through for a spot in the Championship 4.

Breaking down the field

Chase Elliott enters the Round of 8 as the No. 1 seed, up 31 points on the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted one win (Talladega) and two top fives. His average finish this postseason is 17.0.

This season is the sixth-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2017-2022). Elliott has made 11 series starts at Las Vegas posting three top fives and five top 10s. He finished ninth at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough round (Round of 8),” Elliott said. “Vegas was a struggle for us in the spring. Homestead, we have just been really hit-or-miss there. We did have a test there a couple of 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.”


Joey Logano enters the Round of 8 as the No. 2 seed, up 11 points on the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has put up two top fives. His average finish this postseason is 15.8.

This season is the eighth-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2014-2016, 2018-2022). Logano has made 18 series starts at Las Vegas posting one pole, two wins, six top fives and 11 top 10s. He finished 14th at Las Vegas earlier this season.

“I feel good. I like Vegas,” Logano said. “We had a pretty good test at Miami and Martinsville has been one of Penske’s best racetracks as of late, so I feel pretty good about it (the Round of 8).”


Ross Chastain enters the Round of 8 as the No. 3 seed, up six points on the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted one top-five and three top-10 finishes. His average finish this postseason is 14.5.

This season is the first-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2022). Chastain has made eight series starts at Las Vegas posting one top five. He finished third at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season.

“Yeah, I’m full on focusing on Las Vegas, not looking back at the Roval,” Chastain said. “Our intermediate program is strong. I have full confidence going into these two weeks at intermediate tracks. Our cars are strong.”


Christopher Bell enters the Round of 8 as the No. 4 seed, up three points on the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted one win (Charlotte RC), and four top fives. His average finish this postseason is 10.7.

This season is the first-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2022). Bell has made five series starts at Las Vegas posting two top 10s. He finished 10th at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season.

“Vegas is one of my favorite tracks and Joe Gibbs Racing has been strong on the 1.5-mile tracks,” Bell said. “Vegas is one I’ve had circled for a while and one we can contend for a win, or at least escape there with a good amount of points.”


Ryan Blaney enters the Round of 8 as the No. 5 seed, back three points from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish this postseason is 14.0.

This season is the fourth-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022). Blaney has made 12 series starts at Las Vegas posting five top fives and eight 10s. He finished 36th at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season due to an incident.

“I’m looking forward to getting to Vegas,” Blaney said. “I think we’ve come a long way on our mile-and-a-half program. Between Vegas and Homestead and obviously Martinsville is a strong place for us in the spring, so I’m looking forward to it. We’ve just got to put together good races with no mistakes and keep doing what we’ve been doing. I’d really like to win and not have to worry about the next two weeks, but I think this team has been doing a great job. They’re really focused right now.”


William Byron enters the Round of 8 as the No. 6 seed, back three points from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted one top five and four top 10s. His average finish this postseason is 8.7.

This season is the first-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2022). Byron has made nine series starts at Las Vegas posting one top five and three top 10s. He finished fifth at Las Vegas earlier this season.

“It feels awesome,” Byron said. “Certainly, a weight off our shoulders. This was the goal coming into this year, and I feel we have met that. Obviously, the end goal is making the Championship 4.”


Denny Hamlin enters the Round of 8 as the No. 7 seed, back five points from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted three top fives and five top 10s. His average finish this postseason is 6.8 – best among Playoff contenders.

This season is the seventh-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2014, 2016, 2017, 2019-2022). Hamlin has made 21 series starts at Las Vegas posting one win, five top fives and 10 top 10s. He finished 32nd at Las Vegas earlier this season due to a drivetrain issue.

“We have been very strong on the intermediates all year and we tested Homestead a few weeks ago,” Hamlin said. “We had a good test at Martinsville and even though we finished bad there in the spring, I feel good about what we have learned since then. We’re going to have to qualify well there, and track position is going to be huge. It’s time to go to work, but yeah, we’re really excited about our prospects in this next round.”


Chase Briscoe enters the Round of 8 as the No. 8 seed, back nine points from the Championship 4 Round cutline. In six Playoff starts this season he has posted one top five and three top 10s. His average finish this postseason is 13.0. This season is the first-time he has advanced to the Round of 8 (2022). Briscoe has made three series starts at Las Vegas posting a best finish of 14th in this race last season. He finished 35th at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season due to an incident.

“I enjoy being the underdog and handle it much better when people do doubt us,” Briscoe said. “I know we’re capable, our team knows we’re capable and it really doesn’t matter what other people think. I like not having that pressure, so that’s fine if it continues. We’re going to show up each race and do what we need to do. Even if we’re down, we’re not out and we’ve shown that these last few weeks, so we’ll keep it up and make our way to Phoenix.”

Staff/Wire

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