Cup Series drivers ready for the most important playoff race


NASCAR drivers prepare for the Texas Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers are about to start Round 12, but they’re uncomfortable. Only one can win at Texas Motor Speedway, the hottest track at the moment.

Texas is not a track that people initially circled around as the highlight of the playoffs. They’re an intermediate group early in the 10-week schedule, and they’ve struggled to deliver the best fights since they were re-formed in 2017.

The reason this path is important is how other events are set up. The other two races in the round of 12 are at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Ruffal, both considered wild cards.

There could be mechanical issues, huge wrecks, and other issues, so Texas is your best chance of earning crucial points and a potential win that would secure a place in the eighth round.

“Looking at the next seven races, Texas is arguably the most important race, outside of Phoenix,” Christopher Bell said after the Bristol race. in Toyota. “Talladega, we all know how it goes — there are going to be some lucky guys and some unlucky guys. Texas is one place where you can control your destiny in the next round and the winner will really feel good if it’s a playoff car.”

The points make up another intense round

Christopher Bell

GTChristopher Bell (front) races at Texas Motor Speedway.

The trip to Texas Motor Speedway will kick off another intense playoff. The reason is that the non-playoff drivers won every race in the Round of 16, squandering the Championship hopefuls’ chances of gaining any advantage heading to Texas.

The points have been reset after Bristol Motor Speedway, which means all drivers are close to each other again. Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney are only four points clear on the cutting line while Chase Briscoe is four points behind. Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, and Austin Sendrick are all seven points off the cut-off line.

The only relatively safe driver to enter the round of 12 is Chase Elliott, who is sitting 31 points above the cut-off line. However, the Chevrolet No. 9 driver knows very well that the slightest problem can remove all his bonus points. This happened with DNF at Darlington Raceway, but Elliott was able to recover and make it to the next round.

Only 3 playoff drivers have won the cup in Texas

Denny Hamlin

GTDenny Hamlin has 3 career wins at Texas Motor Speedway.

Prior to the cut-off race at Bristol Motor Speedway, there were some drivers who stood out as those who could quickly win in Texas and move into the quarter-finals. This includes Kevin Harvick and Kyle Bush based on their seven wins combined. Austin Dillon also had his own win from the 2020 season.

Now, however, there are only three drivers eligible for the championship with Texas Cup Series wins. Kyle Larson won the 2021 supplement race while Joey Lugano won the Spring 2014 race. Hamlin had three wins on the track including a sweep of the season in 2010.

Hamlin still stands out as a driver who can go and win in Texas. He started the Round of 16 with two consecutive runners-up before finishing ninth at Bristol Motor Speedway after dealing with some steering issues. Now it will take the middle path, a design that Toyota dominated in 2022.

Hamlin said of the Round of 12: “We can win anywhere we go. We’re going to Texas and trying to win like we always do. Just need to get a good, solid ride. It just seems like mechanical stuff with this next generation and shipwrecks is the X factor going forward, So you just have to be really consistent and with five races left, that’s when you have to start winning.”


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