There is only one race left in Round 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series. The drivers will face Charlotte Roval on October 9, and Ryan Blaney will top the list of those who can win early on points.
According to notes provided by NASCAR Media, Blaney could snatch his spot in the eighth round with just 21 points. If he finishes 16th without scoring any stage points, he will achieve that goal. He can also do this earlier in the race if he focuses on fighting for stage wins.
Blaney has a history of strong showings at Charlotte Roval. He won the inaugural race in 2018 after Martin Truex Jr and Jimmy Johnson took turns while fighting for the win. Since then, he has added two top 10 spots and five more while completing each race at the North Carolina Road Track.
All Blaney’s teammates can move on to the quarter-finals
As Blaney sits in the best position to move into the quarter-finals, his Penske teammates face different situations. Joey Logano is 18 points above the cutoff line, and he can clinch 36 points. Austin Cendrick is in a tie with Chase Briscoe on the last transfer point, and he can seal 54 points.
Like Blaney, Lugano put on solid performances at the Ruval during his career in the Cup Series. He had four top ten spots in four starts and finished second in his career best of the 2020 season. Lugano earned 34 points in two of those starts, 44 in the last, and 42 in the most recent.
Cindric, for comparison, is an accomplished racetrack racer with experience across multiple car racing series. However, he never started racing the Cup Series at the Roval. Although he has three spots in the top five in four Xfinity Series starting from the track.
5 Other drivers can earn points
There are many drivers who need to win to go to the quarter-finals. This list includes William Byron and Christopher Bell, both of whom are in must-win situations. Although Byron’s situation could change based on the outcome of the October 6 appeal appeal.
Alex Bowman is also sub-par and in a must-do position. However, he will automatically face disqualification as he misses his second race in a row due to concussion symptoms from a crash at Texas Motor Speedway.
Five other drivers, for comparison, could still clinch points. This list includes Ross Chastain, who needs 26 points, and Denny Hamlin, who needs 33 points. And concludes the list Kyle Larson (36 points), Daniel Suarez (42 points) and Chase Briscoe (54 points).
Hamlin does not have the easiest path to the quarter-finals, but it is not impossible. He can grab the top five and there are no stage points. It can also accomplish the first ten task.
Chastain and Suarez enter the weekend in favorable positions considering they both win on the road track during the 2022 season. Chastain will need a 10th without stage points to secure his place while Suarez will only have to stay near the front of the group and avoid accidents.
Larson will also be a name to watch as the defending winner for Ruffal. He also has a road course win in 2022, which he earned at Watkins Glen International. As long as he keeps his car clean and turns around with a solid performance, he should easily move into the quarter-finals.
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