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Playoff Picture as NASCAR heads to the Charlotte ROVAL

As the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season winds down with only five races remaining to determine the champion, the upcoming race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is pivotal.

At the conclusion of the Bank of America ROVAL 400, the playoff field will be cut from 12 drivers to eight.

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The most recent winners include Ryan Blaney who won the inaugural playoff race at the Charlotte ROVAL, his first Cup Series road course win and Chase Elliott who won back to back in 2019 and 2020.

As we head into the weekend, let’s take a look at how the playoff drivers stack up as they prepare to hit the 2.28-mile track in Concord, NC Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. on NBC.

Notable:

Kyle Larson:

Larson has been to victory lane six times this year and is second in the standings with the second-best driver rating of 110.1 at the ROVAL. He has run 39 of the fastest laps, second to Elliott. Larson does, however, have the season-to-date best overall driver rating of 110.0.

Joey Logano:

Logano, third in the standings, has one top-five and three top-10s at the Charlotte road course with a seventh-best driver rating of 98.1. His third-place finish at Talladega gives him a cushion of 21 points heading into this weekend’s race.

Brad Keselowski:

Keselowski finished second at Talladega, moving him up to fourth in the post-season standings. He has not won at the Charlotte ROVAL and has only one top-five and one top-10.

Denny Hamlin:

Hamlin is already locked into the next round after his win in the opening race of the playoffs at Darlington Raceway. This will take the pressure off at the Charlotte ROVAL where he has a 19th best driver rating of 69.4.

Chase Elliott:

Elliott has two wins this season and is currently ranked seventh in the playoff standings but he heads to Charlotte with the series-best driver rating of 124.5 at the road course. His stats include two wins, two top-fives and three top 10s with the series-best 49 fastest laps run.

Kyle Busch:

Busch is currently tied with Elliott in the standings as they occupy the last two spots, in seventh and eighth place. While Elliott has had success at Charlotte, Busch’s average finish is 33 and he has a 15th best driver rating of 78.8.

William Byron:

Byron was caught up in a multi-car accident at Talladega that left him in 11th place in the standings with a 44-point deficit. Although he has two top-10s and one pole at the Charlotte road course with the third-best driver rating, he will need a win to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Alex Bowman:

Bowman was also involved in a crash at Talladega after contact from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He is 52 points below the elimination line and he, along with his teammate Bowman, are in a must-win situation.

Current Standings:

RankDriverPointsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Denny Hamlin (P)3,11621030In On Wins
2Kyle Larson (P)3,0976156022
3Joey Logano (P)3,096151321
4Brad Keselowski (P)3,09512820
5Martin Truex Jr. (P)3,095452920
6Ryan Blaney (P)3,090342415
7Chase Elliott (P)3,08423219
8Kyle Busch (P)3,08425229
9Kevin Harvick (P)3,075002-9
10Christopher Bell (P)3,056105-28
11William Byron (P)3,0401314-44
12Alex Bowman (P)3,0323015-52


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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