The Round of 8 is the penultimate Round of the NASCAR playoffs. Last Sunday, four drivers were eliminated from title contention: Alex Bowman (who has been out since Texas with concussion-like symptoms), Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric, and the most shocking of all, Kyle Larson. Kyle Larson, the defending Cup series champion, will not compete for a championship in 2022. This week has been a week of controversy for NASCAR; Cole Custer was handed out massive penalties after Sunday’s race due to race and playoff manipulation. NASCAR found the Custer and his crew chief deliberately held up other cars so Chase Briscoe could have a cushion to advance himself into the Round of 8. Fifty-point duction from the driver and owner’s points and $100,000 fines for the driver and crew chief; however, these penalties will not affect the playoff grid. Briscoe will stay in the playoffs. But enough about the bad stuff; let’s see how the playoff standings look going into Las Vegas.
- Chase Elliott +31
- Joey Logano +11
- Ross Chastian +6
- Christopher Bell +3
- Ryan Blaney -3
- William Byron -3
- Denny Hamlin -5
- Chase Briscoe -9
After the points reset, Chase Elliott remains your leader in the standings going into Las Vegas. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile D-shaped, high-banked, and wide oval. The mile and a-halves have been good this year, and Las Vegas should be no different. That said, who do I expect to win this weekend?
Ross Chastain: I do not think I have picked him once in the entirety of the playoffs, but I like his odds. He raced well here in the spring, and with crunch time coming, NASCAR Weekly Preview would be looking for him to start winning again. Vegas would be a good race to start this trend.
Denny Hamlin: A weird pick since he did not finish the spring race, but, I see him trying to try and lock himself in early to not run into what Kyle Larson did at the Roval. On top of that; before his dnf, Dennt did lead laps and could have made a run at a win. Maybe they can right that wrong this weekend.
Christopher Bell: I skipped out on him last week; that was a mistake. However, my thoughts on Bell winning this weekend is more or less the same as Denny’s. Bell finished inside the top ten in the spring and led 32 laps during the race. Bell ran up front for a good portion of the race and with the pressure of the playoffs and the near elimination last week, him and his team may try and get more performance out of their car this
To close out the preview, the South Point 400 will be aired on NBC at 2:30 pm EST Sunday, October 16. Who will win it all, and who will be on black and come back red? You never know what will happen in Las Vegas. Let’s go racing!