On a night where multiple Playoff contenders encountered on-track issues from start to finish, another non-Playoff contender captured the spotlight as Chris Buescher made a triumphant return to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 17.
The 29-year-old Buescher from Prosper, Texas, led twice for a race-high 169 of 500-scheduled laps, including the final 61, as he prevailed through a two-tire pit strategy and in a 57-lap dash to the finish by holding off Playoff contender Chase Elliott to score his second career win in NASCAR’s premier series and snap a 222-race winless drought under the lights at Thunder Valley.
Buescher’s victory served as one of two major storylines to Saturday night’s event at Bristol. The second was the Playoff battle as the Round of 16 concluded with four big names, including Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick, being eliminated from the Playoffs.
With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Friday, Aric Almirola claimed his first pole position of the 2022 season after posting a pole-winning lap at 127.826 mph in 14.946 seconds. Joining him on the front row was teammate Chase Briscoe, the highest-starting Playoff contender who posted the second-best qualifying lap at 127.503 mph in 14.968 seconds.
When the green flag waved and the race started, Almirola jumped ahead with the advantage on the outside lane followed by teammate Briscoe and Denny Hamlin as the field jostled early between two lanes for positions. When the field made their way back to the frontstretch, Almirola managed to lead the first lap ahead of Hamlin and Briscoe while Ryan Blaney was in fourth ahead of Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson.
Through the first 10 scheduled laps, Almirola remained as the leader ahead of Hamlin followed by Blaney, Briscoe and Bell while Bowman, Larson, Keselowski, Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick were in the top 10. Bubba Wallace, the winner of last weekend’s event at Kansas Speedway, was in 11th ahead of William Byron, rookie Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and AJ Allmendinger while Michael McDowell, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr. and Justin Haley occupied the top 20. By then, Playoff contenders Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez were mired in 21st, 24th, 26th, 30th and 32nd, respectively.
Fifteen laps later on Lap 25, Almirola, who approached lapped traffic, stabilized his advantage to nearly half a second over a side-by-side battle between Hamlin and Blaney while Briscoe and Bell remained in the top five. By then, half of the 16 Playoff contenders were scored in the top 10 while Kyle Busch, Reddick, Elliott, Austin Dillon and Suarez were among five Playoff contenders still mired outside of the top 20 on the track.
Another 11 laps later, Blaney muscled his No. 12 Pennzoil/Menards Ford Mustang into the lead after he overtook Almirola as Hamlin started to challenge Almirola for the runner-up spot.
On Lap 42, the first caution of the event flew due to debris on the backstretch and following two right-front incidents affecting two competitors. The first was when JJ Yeley smacked the outside wall in Turn 2 and fell off the pace after losing a right-front tire. The incident occurred as Yeley, who was multiple laps down, was battling the top-five front-runners on the track. By then, rookie Harrison Burton got into the outside wall in Turn 3 after he lost a right-front tire to his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang.
During the caution period, a majority of the field led by race leader Blaney pitted wile the rest led by Keselowski remained on the track.
When the race restarted under green on Lap 49, Keselowski rocketed his No. 6 Kohler Generators Ford Mustang with the lead while teammate Chris Buescher and Wallace battled for the runner-up spot, with the former prevailing over the latter. Behind, Tyler Reddick was in fourth followed by Corey LaJoie and Almirola, the first competitor on four fresh tires, while Hamlin was in seventh as he was trying to navigate his No. 11 FedEx Toyota TRD Camry back to the front.
By Lap 60, Keselowski was leading by eight-tenths of a second over teammate Buescher followed by Wallace, Reddick and Almirola while Hamlin, Bell, Blaney, LaJoie and Suarez occupied the top-10 spots on the track. Briscoe was in 11th followed by teammate Harvick, Larson, Byron and Kyle Busch while Bowman, Chastain, Logano, McDowell and Truex were in the top 20. By then, Cindric was in 22nd ahead of Austin Dillon and Elliott was mired back in 25th ahead of Ty Gibbs and Ty Dillon.
Fifteen laps later and at the Lap 75 mark, Keselowski continued to lead by more than a second over teammate Buescher while Wallace, Hamlin and Reddick were running in the top five. Blaney, meanwhile, was in sixth while Almirola, Bell, Briscoe and Harvick were in the top 10 ahead of Larson, Kyle Busch, Bowman, Byron, Suarez and Chastain. While Logano and Austin Dillon were in 18th and 20th, Elliott was mired back in 22nd and Cindric was back in 24th.
Nine laps later, early disaster struck for Cindric, who pitted under green after he lost a right-side tire to his No. 2 Freightliner Ford Mustang and scrubbed the outside wall entering Turn 2. By the time he returned to the track, his hopes of advancing to the Playoffs were jeopardized as he was mired back in 36th place on the track, dead last, and five laps down to the leaders.
Then on Lap 91, the caution returned when Blaney smacked the outside wall through Turns 3 and 4 after losing a right-front tire to his No. 12 Ford. In the process to avoid hitting Blaney, Almirola spun his No. 10 Ford BlueOval City Ford Mustang in Turn 4 as he brushed the outside wall. Then as Blaney pitted for four fresh tires, the situation for him from bad to worse. In an effort to remain on the lead lap, he left his pit stall, but was unaware that his pit crew had removed the center lug nut from the left-rear wheel. This caused the left-rear wheel to roll off of Blaney’s car as Blaney came to a stop before spinning his car back to his pit stall for fresh left-side tires. In the process, he lost a lap to the leaders.
During the caution period, some led by Buescher pitted while the rest led by Keselowski remained on the track.
When the event restarted under green on Lap 99, Keselowski retained the lead on the outside lane for a second time while Bell quickly challenged and overtook Reddick for the runner-up spot in his No. 20 Yahoo! Toyota TRD Camry. Behind, Kyle Busch, who restarted seventh, used the outside lane to his advantage as he bolted his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota TRD Camry past a bevy of names, including Larson, Briscoe and Reddick, in one lap before settling in third place behind teammate Bell.
By Lap 115, Keselowski retained the lead by four-tenths of a second over Bell and nine-tenths of a second over third-place Kyle Busch while Briscoe and Larson battled for fourth. Meanwhile, Blaney, who had a part dragging to the rear end of his car following his pit road incident, had returned to the track following a lengthy pit stop as he was mired back in 36th place, dead last, and five laps behind the leaders. He would eventually be posted by NASCAR for not meeting minimum speed and pitted again to address a flat right-rear tire.
When the first stage concluded on Lap 125, Keselowski, who came into the event with an average-finishing result of 19.2, captured his first stage victory of the 2022 season. Bell settled in second followed by teammate Kyle Busch, Briscoe, Larson, Bowman, Buescher, Reddick, Byron and Truex. By then, Elliott was in 12th, Harvick and Hamlin were mired in 14th and 15th, Austin Dillon was in 17th, Chastain was in 19th ahead of Logano, Suarez was in 23rd, Cindric was five laps down in 35th and Blaney was 15 laps down in 36th, dead last.
Under the stage break, some led by Keselowski, who pitted for the first time, pitted while the rest led by Buescher remained on the track.
The second stage started on Lap 133 as Buescher and Harvick occupied the front row. At the start, Buescher retained the lead ahead of Harvick while Chastain and Hamlin duked for third in front of Wallace, Custer and Justin Haley.
Following another caution period on Lap 139 when Harrison Burton got hit by Cindric and spun on the frontstretch and during the following restart on Lap 145, Buescher retained the top spot in his No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang over Harvick’s No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang and the rest of the field.
At the Lap 150 mark, Buescher continued to lead by half a second over Harvick followed by Hamlin, Wallace and Custer while Chastain, Haley, Suarez, Briscoe and Logano were in the top 10.
Twenty-five laps later on Lap 175, Buescher stabilized his advantage to a tenth of a second over Harvick while Hamlin, Wallace and Chastain were scored in the top five. Shortly after, however, Wallace, who had smoke coming out of his No. 45 MoneyLion Toyota TRD Camry, pitted under green. The situation, which was deemed a right-front brake line failure, cost Wallace multiple laps as he remained in his pit stall while his pit crew diagnosed the issue.
Back on the track on Lap 190 and while Buescher continued to lead by a tenth of a second, seven of 16 Playoff contenders were scored in the top 10, with Harvick in second ahead of Hamlin and Chastain while Briscoe was in sixth, two spots ahead of Bowman, Larson and Bell. Kyle Busch was in 11th while Elliott was up in 12th place. Suarez was in 14th, Byron was in 16th, Logano was in 18th, Reddick was back in 23rd, Cindric was four laps down while mired in 34th and Blaney was 78 laps down in 36th as he continued to lose more laps to the leaders while he remained in the garage to have his car repaired. By then, Wallace’s 23XI Racing teammate Ty Gibbs took his No. 23 Monster Energy Toyota TRD Camry to the garage due to a power steering issue.
Six laps later, the caution flew when Erik Jones, who just went a lap down to the leader Buescher, spun his No. 43 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the backstretch after making contact with teammate Ty Dillon. The incident occurred as both Petty GMS Motorsports competitors were trying to avoid Harrison Burton, who encountered his third right-front tire issue of the night. During the caution period, names like Bell, Kyle Busch, Elliott, Suarez, Keselowski, Byron, Logano, McDowell, Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Todd Gilliland Reddick and the Dillon brothers pitted while the rest led by Buescher and Harvick remained on the track. By then, Truex took his No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota TRD Camry to the garage and retired due to a power steering issue.
With 45 laps remaining in the second stage, the race proceeded under green. At the start, Buescher retained the lead over Harvick while Harvick was being challenged by Hamlin and teammate Custer. Behind, Chastain battled for fifth over Briscoe as both Haley and Larson joined the battle.
Twenty laps later and with 25 laps remaining in the second stage, Buescher stabilized his advantage to three-tenths of a second over Harvick followed by Hamlin, Custer and Larson while Chastain was locked in a side-by-side battle with Bell for sixth. Behind, Briscoe was left battling Kyle Busch for eighth while Keselowski was back in 10th ahead of Elliott, Bowman, Byron, Almirola, Haley and Logano. By then, Austin Dillon and Suarez were back in 20th and 21st while Cindric was in 31st, five laps down.
With 16 laps remaining in the second stage, the caution flew when Hamlin, who was in third, fell off the pace after blowing a right-front tire to his No. 11 Toyota as he just managed to keep his car off the outside wall. During the caution period, some led by Buescher pitted while the rest led by Bell remained on the track.
When the second stage proceeded with 10 laps remaining, Bell took off with the lead followed by a side-by-side battle involving Chastain and Briscoe while Elliott and Kyle Busch battled for fourth in front of Bowman and Byron.
When the second stage concluded on Lap 250, which marked the halfway point of the event, Bell, who is already guaranteed a spot in the Round of 12, captured his fourth stage victory of the 2022 season. Chastain settled in second followed by Briscoe, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Bowman, Byron, Austin Dillon, Larson and Harvick. By then, Suarez was in 11th, Logano was in 18th, Reddick was back in 23rd ahead of Hamlin, Cindric was five laps down in 31st and Blaney was still in the garage and mired in 36th place, 138 laps down.
Under the stage break, names like Chastain, Briscoe, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Bowman, Harrison Burton and Almirola pitted while the rest led by Bell remained on the track.
With 241 laps remaining, the final stage started under green as Bell and Elliott occupied the front row. At the start, Bell retained the lead while Byron made his way into the runner-up spot over teammates Larson and Elliott. Behind, Harvick battled McDowell for fifth while Keselowski was in seventh over Custer.
Eleven laps later, the caution returned when Kyle Busch, who came into the event two points below the top-12 cutline, fell off the pace entering the frontstretch and steered his car, which was billowing smoke, below the apron and to the garage, where he retired from contention due to an engine failure.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Busch said on USA Network. “I’m flabbergasted. I just feel so bad for my guys. They don’t deserve to be in this spot. They worked too hard, were too good of a group to be this low, down on the bottom and fighting for our lives just to make it through. Two engine failures in three weeks. That’ll do to you…This is not our normal.”
When the race restarted with 224 laps remaining, Bell cleared Byron to retain the lead as Larson went to work on teammate Byron for the runner-up spot followed by teammate Elliott and Harvick. Just as the front-runners were approaching Turns 3 and 4, the caution quickly returned for a multi-car wreck that started when Suarez got loose entering the backstretch as he clipped Stenhouse and spun, thus igniting carnage that collected teammate Chastain, Austin Dillon, Gilliland, Cindric, Elliott, Cassill, Burton, Briscoe, Reddick and Bowman, who retired after busting the radiator from his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, while Blaney, who returned to the track and was more than 150 laps down, was able to dodge the carnage.
When the race restarted with 214 laps remaining, Bell outdueled Byron to remain as the leader as Larson and Keselowski overtook Byron for second and third. Behind, Harvick, faced in a “must-win” situation to advance to the Playoffs, was in fifth and Elliott made his way up to sixth in front of Buescher, McDowell and Logano.
With 200 laps remaining, Bell was leading by six-tenths of a second over Larson followed by Keselowski, Byron and Harvick while Elliott, Buescher, Logano, McDowell and AJ Allmendinger were in the top 10. Meanwhile, Hamlin, Chastain and Briscoe were running 12th through 14th while Reddick was mired back in 28th place and still undergoing repairs to his No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Meanwhile, Austin Dillon, who was involved in the latest multi-car wreck, took his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the garage as he retired and failed to advance past the Round of 12.
Fifty-two laps later, the caution flew when Erik Jones fell off the pace through the backstretch after he cut a right-rear tire to his No. 43 Chevrolet. By then, Bell continued to lead by by half a second over Larson followed by Keselowski, Elliott and Buescher while Harvick, Logano, Byron, McDowell and Allmendinger were in the top 10. In addition, Reddick, who found himself five points outside of the top-12 cutline to advance to the Playoffs, made another pit stop as his No. 8 pit crew went under the hood.
Under caution, the leaders led by Bell pitted and Larson emerged with the lead after beating Bell off of pit road in first place.
During the following restart with 140 laps remaining, Larson retained the lead over Bell while Keselowski launched a challenge on Bell for second place as the field scattered and jostled for positions. By then, Reddick, who was in 28th and 29 laps down, was scored four points behind Kyle Busch for the 12th and final transfer spot to the Playoffs.
With less than 120 laps remaining, Larson was leading ahead of Keselowski, Bell, Harvick and Buescher while Logano, Byron, Elliott, Allmendinger and Custer occupied the top 10. By then, Hamlin was in 11th, Chastain and Briscoe were in 14th and 15th, Suarez was back in 22nd, Cindric was in 25th and Reddick was in 28th. Blaney, meanwhile, was in 35th after he overtook a retired Truex.
Down to the final 100 laps of the event, Keselowski, who overtook Larson for the lead following a slide job 12 laps earlier, was leading by six-tenths of a second over Larson while Bell, Harvick and Buescher remained in the top five. By then, six of 16 Playoff contenders were scored in the top 10.
Not long after, Logano, who is guaranteed a spot in the Round of 12, made an unscheduled pit stop to address a flat right-front tire to his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang.
Then wit 87 laps remaining, disaster struck for Keselowski, who lost a right-front tire entering Turn 3 after he popped a right-front tire to his No. 6 Ford Mustang. With Keselowski limping his car back to pit road, the race remained under green as Bell returned to the lead followed by Larson, Harvick, Buescher and Elliott.
With less than 70 laps remaining, Bell remained as the leader by three-tenths of a second over Larson and more than a second over third-place Harvick while Buescher and Elliott remained in the top five. By then, pole-sitter Almirola took his car to the garage due to a power steering issue.
Down to the final 64 laps, however, the caution flew when Bell cut a right-rear tire as he lost the lead to Larson and fell off the pace through the backstretch, though he remained in second place in front of Harvick. During the caution period, the leaders led by Larson and including Bell pitted. Following the pit stops, Buescher emerged with the lead following a two-tire pit stop followed by Elliott, Byron, Larson and Allmendinger, all of whom elected for four fresh tires. During the pit stops, disaster struck for both Harvick and Hamlin after both encountered loose wheels that stalled their progress towards the front. For Harvick, he had fallen back to 10th after he backed his car back to his pit stall due to his left-front tire not being secured. For Hamlin, he was back in 11th after he had a loose left-rear wheel that needed to be tightened while trying to exit his pit stall.
With 57 laps remaining and with the field restarting under green, Buescher retained the lead while teammates Byron and Elliott battled for second in front of Larson, Bell and Allmendinger.
Sixteen laps later and with 40 laps remaining, Buescher stabilized his advantage to nearly nine-tenths of a second over Elliott while Byron, Larson and Bell battled for third. By then, Cindric, who took the wave around and was up in 21st while six laps behind, drew himself into a one-point advantage over Kyle Busch for the 12th and final transfer spot to the Round of 12. In addition, Logano retired due to a suspension issue.
Another 20 laps later, Buescher, who was navigating his way through lapped traffic, continued to lead by seven-tenths of a second over Elliott. Behind, Byron and Bell trailed by more than a second while fifth-place Larson trailed by more than two seconds. Meanwhile, Chastain was in sixth while Hamlin and Harvick were mired back in ninth and 10th.
Down to the final 10 laps of the event, Buescher was ahead by eight-tenths of a second over Elliott while Byron continued to fend off Bell for third place.
When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Buescher remained as the leader by four-tenths of a second over Elliott’s No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Despite encountering more lapped traffic for a final circuit, Buescher was able to maintain a reasonable gap to Elliott as he returned to the frontstretch and claimed his first checkered flag in six years.
The Bristol victory was Buescher’s second in the Cup Series and first since he claimed his first career win in the rain-shortened event at Pocono Raceway in August 2016. He also became the 19th different winner through 29 scheduled events of the 2022 Cup season and the 139th different competitor to achieve multiple victories in NASCAR’s premier series. In addition, Buescher recorded the first NASCAR victory for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing since the organization last won at Daytona International Speedway in July 2017, their first since the team was rebranded to RFK Racing and the first Cup victory for crew chief Scott Graves.
With Buescher’s victory, this marked the first time since the Playoff-elimination format debuted in 2014 where a Playoff round’s three events were swept by non-title contenders after Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace won the previous two Round of 16 events.
“Man, this is just so special,” Buescher said on the frontstretch. “This team did such a great job. First Cup win for [sponsor] Fastenal for a points-paying race. That’s awesome. Glad to have Fastenal onboard tonight. Just so special here at Bristol. I love this racetrack. I love the fans. I love every time we come here. It’s so special. [I] Lost one [at Bristol] that really broke our heart back in 2015 on the Xfinity side with [Scott] Graves atop the pit box. This makes up for that. That’s pretty awesome. Pretty special.”
“It was up to me at that point [during the final restart],” Buescher added. “Just hold on and make it work. We really had a fast Fastenal Mustang. Just so proud of everybody. We knew we had a good race car after practice. [I] Didn’t quite get the job done in qualifying, but what a race car. It’s special. Get [Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing] in Victory Lane for the first time. We had great race cars. Brad [Keselowski] had really good speed, too. I don’t know what else to say. I’m out of breath. This place will wear you flat out and I love that about it, but such a special night. This [race] is number one on the list right here. This is it.”
Meanwhile, Elliott rallied from qualifying 23rd to finish in second place for his 11th top-five result of the season while Byron, Bell and Larson completed the top five on the track. All four are among 12 competitors to advance to the Playoff’s Round of 12.
“I wasn’t close enough to do anything with [Buescher],” Elliott said. “We had a long day yesterday. [I] Was able to battle back for a bad qualifying effort to get a top two [finish. Proud of that. Glad to be moving on [in the Playoffs]. Looking forward to some more opportunities in these coming weeks.”
Playoff contender Chastain came home in sixth while Allmendinger, Custer, Hamlin and Harvick completed the top 10 on the track.
When all was said and done on the track, drivers Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and rookie Austin Cindric transferred to the Round of 12 in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick were eliminated from title contention for the 2022 season.
For Cindric, good fortune was on the rookie’s side in spite of the early unscheduled pit stop for a flat right-front tire. With a multitude of Playoff contenders also running into on-track issues throughout the night, Cindric’s 20th-place result was enough for him to claim the 12th and final transfer spot to the Round of 12 by two points over both Kyle Busch and Reddick.
“That was easy, right?” Cindric said. “[I] Came in plus two [points] and leave plus two. Just how we drew it up. What a night. We had right-front tires going down left and right from the beginning of the race. To get all of us into the Round of 12 after a very scary night for Team Penske, proud to do my job and hang in there. Got that one out.”
For Harvick, the final pit stop prior to the final restart was the endgame of his hopes of transferring to the Round of 16 as he left Bristol mired in 16th place in the standings and without an opportunity to contend for a second championship despite rallying for a 10th-place result.
“It was pretty tough,” Harvick said. “We pitted in front of [Buescher], so just kind of the way the year has gone. [I] Just went from having a chance to lead the parade to being a part of the parade. Just difficult to pass.”
The night was also adventurous for both Blaney and Reddick, both of whom encountered on-track issues of their own from start to finish. In the end, Blaney managed to work his way to 30th place in the final leaderboard and transfer to the Round of 12 while Reddick failed to transfer to the Round of 12 by two points for a second consecutive season.
“Lucky to get in, I guess,” Blaney said. “We were really fast early and just had a right front [tire] go down like almost everybody else in the race. We just hit the wall a little bit harder than some other guys. Spent a long time fixing [the car], but was able to get back out. We built a good enough gap the first two [Playoff] races to give ourselves a bit of a cushion and then, some guys had their issues tonight. Pretty crazy turn of events, for sure. Good perseverance by this No. 12 group. Looking forward to getting into Texas.”
“Frustrating, for sure,” Reddick said. “We unloaded in the race and just quite didn’t have the pace or the balance to make our car better. Unfortunately, with the balance issues we were fighting, we were pretty much limited. We couldn’t really adjust on it without hurting the downforce of the car, overall. We were kind of boxed in. Then, we just got collected in that accident back there. I checked up in time, but yeah, I got absolutely ran over from there. Caught the right front and broke the upper control arm for the second week in a row.”
There were 12 lead changes for six different leaders. The race featured 11 cautions for 80 laps.
1. Chris Buescher, 169 laps led
2. Chase Elliott
3. William Byron
4. Christopher Bell, 143 laps led, Stage 2 winner
5. Kyle Larson, 34 laps led
6. Ross Chastain
7. AJ Allmendinger
8. Cole Custer
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Michael McDowell
12. Justin Haley
13. Brad Keselowski, one lap down, 109 laps led, Stage 1 winner
14. Chase Briscoe, two laps down
15. Corey LaJoie, three laps down
16. Harrison Burton, three laps down
17. Cody Ware, three laps down
18. Todd Gilliland, four laps down
19. Daniel Suarez, six laps down
20. Austin Cindric, seven laps down
21. Erik Jones, eight laps down
22. Landon Cassill, eight laps down
23. JJ Yeley, nine laps down
24. BJ McLeod, nine laps down
25. Tyler Reddick, 31 laps down
26. Ty Dillon – OUT, Steering
27. Joey Logano – OUT, Suspension
28. Aric Almirola – OUT, Steering, 36 laps led
29. Bubba Wallace, 92 laps down
30. Ryan Blaney, 162 laps down, nine laps led
31. Austin Dillon – OUT, Dvp
32. Alex Bowman – OUT, Accident
33. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – OUT, Accident
34. Kyle Busch – OUT, Engine
35. Ty Gibbs – OUT, Steering
36. Martin Truex Jr. – OUT, Steering
*Bold indicates Playoff contenders
1. Chase Elliott – Advanced
2. Joey Logano – Advanced
3. Ross Chastain – Advanced
4. Kyle Larson – Advanced
5. William Byron – Advanced
6. Denny Hamlin – Advanced
7. Christopher Bell – Advanced
8. Ryan Blaney – Advanced
9. Chase Briscoe – Advanced
10. Alex Bowman – Advanced
11. Daniel Suarez – Advanced
12. Austin Cindric – Advanced
13. Kyle Busch – Eliminated
14. Tyler Reddick – Eliminated
15. Austin Dillon – Eliminated
16. Kevin Harvick – Eliminated
The Round of 12 in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will commence next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for a 500-mile feature on Sunday, September 25. The event is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.