The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are being hotly contested. Through the first two races in the Round of 16, the field is shaping up heading into Bristol. After the first two rounds, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., have punched their tickets to the Round of 12. Tonight is the last chance for Playoffs drivers to make their way into the top-12 and into the next round.
For those wanting to watch the race, here’s how:
- Time: 7:30 PM EST
- Channel: NBCSN
Under the lights at Bristol, this is Playoffs racing. Right now, the standings have some leaders and there are some drivers that will need a miracle to make it to the next round. As of right now, Michael McDowell finds himself in a hole. He went out early in the first stage of the Southern 500 and lost a lot of points. So, he started out behind every driver heading into Richmond and didn’t have an impressive performance.
He is just behind William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman as the drivers outside of the top-12. Meanwhile at the top are familiar names. Of course, Hamlin and Truex are already onto the next round but find themselves in the top-3 currently. At the top spot is the regular-season champion, Kyle Larson. Joey Logano finds himself in fourth while Ryan Blaney completes the top-5. It is going to be a battle for those 10-12 spots tonight in Bristol.
NASCAR Heads to Bristol, Baby
Every NASCAR fan is excited about tonight because Playoffs racing in Bristol, Tennessee is as good as it gets. Under the lights just makes it better. So, let’s take a look at the field heading into tonight and possibly make a prediction or two. There could be some aggressive strategies from drivers out there tonight.
Truex Jr. will lead off in the first position tonight on the grid. With Bristol, these drivers know what is in store, but that never helps avoid unfortunate accidents. Last week in Richmond, things stayed relatively clean, however the week before at Darlington proved costly.
Truthfully, I really like Ryan Blaney tonight. He proved at the end of the regular season that he can win races. If Blaney takes the checkered flag tonight, no one would be surprised. I also like Chase Elliott who has dealt with some frustration in recent weeks but will try to capitalize tonight ahead of the Round of 12.
As far as a surprise entry into the next round, Tyler Reddick is a guy to watch for. He is not currently in the top-12 and sits at 14th. He has proven to be a tough and gusty driver this season and I could see him making a big statement and climbing into that top-12. Watch tonight at 7:30 PM EST on NBCSN.