Following the dramatic conclusion of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway, four competitors were eliminated from the postseason; including last season’s Cup Series champion and Team Penske driver Joey Logano, veteran Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick in his final season before retirement, 2023 DAYTONA 500 winner and JTG Daugherty Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and veteran Front Row Motorsport’s driver Michael McDowell.
Now, the remaining 12 postseason contenders that have advanced to the second round of the Playoffs, prepare for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – the first race of the Round of 12.
One caveat to note, is this season’s Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race has been shortened by 100 miles, from 500 to 400, which could play a role on Sunday.
Round of 12 Clinch Scenarios: Texas Motor Speedway
Following an intense NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 elimination-race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Playoffs rerack as the Round of 12 gets underway at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 on Sunday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
With this weekend’s race being the first of the Playoffs’ Round of 12, the clinch scenarios are quite simple.
No drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round.
Can Clinch Via Win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace
Heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the entire NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 field is only separated by 36 points. Currently Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. are tied atop the reseeded postseason points with 3,036 points each, but Byron holds the tiebreaker of better finishes in the Round of 16. Last season’s Texas winner and 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick currently sitting in the eighth and final transfer spot on points to the Round of 8 and holds a three-point edge on Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain in the ninth position – the first spot outside the next round’s cutoff.
Texas Motor Speedway is a staple in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs
The inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs was in 2004 and Texas Motor Speedway was added to the postseason schedule in 2005 – at the time replacing Darlington Raceway – and ever since the 1.5-mile track has been hosting Playoff events (2005-2023). This weekend’s race will be the 19th NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race for the speedway, and the 2023 season marks the second time the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 has opened at Texas Motor Speedway (race No. 30 of the season) with the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (Sunday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Texas Motor Speedway is the seventh different track to host the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Kansas Speedway (2004, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2014), Talladega Superspeedway (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012), Auto Club Speedway (2009, 2010), Charlotte Motor Speedway (2015, 2016, 2017), Dover Motor Speedway (2018, 2019) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2020, 2021).
Texas Motor Speedway has occupied three spots on the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs schedule throughout the years. From 2005 – 2020, Texas Motor Speedway hosted the eighth race in the Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34 of the season). Then in 2021, Texas Motor Speedway hosted the seventh race in the Playoffs (Race No. 33), and then starting last season (2022-2023), Texas has hosted the fourth race in the Playoffs (Race No. 30).
All the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff action begins this weekend with practice and Busch Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday, September 23 at 12:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
Reddick is one 15 different drivers to win the fourth race of the Playoffs
A total of 15 different drivers have won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with three postseason victories (2009, 2011, 2016). Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with two wins (2014, 2015), and the most recent winner of the fourth race in the Playoffs is 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick, who won the event last season driving for Richard Childress Racing.
This weekend, four of the 15 drivers that have won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are active in the 2023 Playoffs – Tyler Reddick (2022 Texas), Denny Hamlin (2021 Las Vegas), Kyle Larson (2019 Dover) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017 Charlotte).