The Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the scene of the second elimination race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. In the Round of 16, Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola and Michael McDowell saw their title hopes dashed, and on Sunday, four more drivers will join them.
With Bubba Wallace scoring an improbable yet historic win at Talladega last weekend, Denny Hamlin is the only one locked in to advance to the Elite Eight following his victory in Las Vegas on September 26. The other 11 drivers know they’re in with a win, but short of that, it’s all about points, points, points.
Of those currently below the cut line, including Kevin Harvick (-9), Christopher Bell (-28), William Byron (-44), and Alex Bowman (-52), only Harvick has a clear path on just points alone. For the other three, only the checkered flag or an excellent finish with a lot of help can keep them in contention.
One of the week's notes was the suspension of Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers after a post-race inspection of the No. 4 Mustang revealed two lug nuts were missing. Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli will be atop the pitbox instead. With 34 Cup victories and two championships with Tony Stewart, "Zippy" has a pretty solid resume for a substitute!
Chase Elliott going for a third consecutive Roval 400 win
Chase Elliott is a mere nine points above the final transfer spot, so there is no guarantee that he will make it to the Round of 8. However, he does have one advantage over the rest of the field. The Dawsonville, GA native leads all active drivers in road course victories with seven, good for third all-time. But what he has done on the Charlotte roval pegs him as the favorite to win on Sunday.
Elliott will be seeking his third road course win of the year (Circuit of the Americas in May and Road America in July), but he seems to have mastered the Roval 400. Finishing sixth behind winner Ryan Blaney in the inaugural 2018 event, the son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott has won the last two events at the Concord, NC venue. He started the race from 19th place in 2019 and second place a year ago. He rolls off eighth on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin on pole
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (#11) will lead the field of 39 cars to the green flag with Brad Keselowski (#2) alongside him on the front row. Joey Logano (#22), Christopher Bell (#20), Martin Truex Jr. (#19), Ryan Blaney (#12), Kevin Harvick (#4), Chase Elliott (#9), Kyle Busch (#18), and Kyle Larson (#5) round out the top-10 starters.
All you need to know about the Roval 400
Roval 400 TV Schedule (All times Eastern)
• Noon – NASCAR RaceDay (NBC Sports Network)
• 1:00 p.m. - Countdown to Green (NBC)
• 2:00 p.m. - Bank of America ROVAL 400 (NBC)
Roval 400 by the numbers
Race: Number 3 in the Round of 12
What: Bank of America ROVAL 400
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course
When: Sunday, Oct. 10 @ 2:00 p.m. ET
TV/Radio: NBC / PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Roval 400 weather – Concord, NC (via Weather .com)
Sunday (Race): Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 76F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Roval 400 Track Information
Track size: 2.32-mile, 17 turns
Race length: 252.88-miles
2020 winner: Chase Elliott
2020 pole winner: Denny Hamlin
Most wins: Chase Elliott (2)
Most poles: Kurt Busch, William Byron, Denny Hamlin (1 each)
Roval 400 Odds (From VegasInsider)
+220 Chase Elliott
+450 Kyle Larson
+700 Martin Truex Jr.
+1000 Kyle Busch
Roval 400 stats pack
• Chase Elliott 124.5
• Kyle Larson 110.1
• William Byron 105.2
• Martin Truex Jr. 103.0
• Kevin Harvick 102.3
• Chase Elliott 62
• Kyle Larson 52
• William Byron 50
• Brad Keselowski 39
• Kevin Harvick 34
Percent of laps running in the top 15
• Chase Elliott 85.0
• Kevin Harvick 80.1
• Martin Truex Jr. 79.5
• William Byron 77.1
• Brad Keselowski 74.6
Roval 400 track history
• Speedway: June 19, 1960 (World 600)
• Roval: September 30, 2018 (Bank of America Roval 400)
Owner: Speedway Motorsports
Q. Who do you think will win the Roval 400?