Cup Series Clinch Scenarios to make the Round of 8 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL

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This weekend’s Bank of America 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will bring the second round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs to a close and four more drivers will be eliminated from the postseason bringing the total to eight. Two drivers, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch are locked in on wins and moving on, leaving six spots still up for grabs. All remaining drivers can clinch a spot in the next round with a win at Charlotte.

Already Clinched

The following two drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round: Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch.

Can clinch via Points

If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 6th winless driver in the standings.

o   Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 8 points

o   Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 35 points

o   Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 44 points

o   Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 49 points

o   Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 54 points

o   Joey Logano: Would clinch with 55 points

o   Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola: Could only clinch with help

If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 7th winless driver in the standings.  They would also clinch if there was a new winner among Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman or Joey Logano and being ahead of the 6th winless driver in the standings.

o   Kevin Harvick: Would clinch regardless of finish

o   Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 15 points

o   Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 24 points

o   Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 29 points

o   Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 34 points

o   Joey Logano: Would clinch with 35 points

o   Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola: Could only clinch with help

Keep Digging: Drivers that have raced their way into the Round of 8

Since the introduction of the ‘elimination style’ format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, several drivers have raced their way into the Round of 8 in the sixth and final cutoff race of the Round of 12.

2014: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Matt Kenseth was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings, one point back from the Round of 8 cutoff and Brad Keselowski was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, 19 points behind the Round of 8 cutoff. Brad Keselowski won the race at Talladega and automatically advanced to the next round. Matt Kenseth finished second at Talladega and advanced on points to the Round of 8 knocking Kasey Kahne (12th-place finish at Talladega) and Kyle Busch (40th-place finish at Talladega) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Kyle Busch was second in the Playoff standings 26 points above the cutline and Kasey Kahne was eighth in points just one point above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2015: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2015, Kyle Busch was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings just six points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Kyle Busch finished 11th at Talladega and advanced on points knocking his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin (37th-place finish at Talladega due to an incident) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Denny Hamlin was second in the Playoff standings, 18 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2016: Heading to Talladega (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2016, Denny Hamlin was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, six points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Hamlin went on to finish third at Talladega and advanced on points knocking Martin Truex Jr. (40th-place finish at Talladega due to an engine failure) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Martin Truex Jr. was sixth in the Playoff standings, 13 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2017: Heading to Kansas (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2017, Kyle Busch was ranked ninth in the Playoff standings, seven points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Busch went on to finish 10th at Kansas and advanced on points knocking Kyle Larson (39th-place finish at Kansas due to an engine failure) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Kyle Larson was third in the Playoff standings, 29 points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

2018: The four drivers below the Round of 8 cutline heading into the sixth race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Kansas Speedway – Brad Keselowski (-1 point from cutoff), Ryan Blaney (-5), Kyle Larson (-19) and Alex Bowman (-51) – all failed to advance to the Round of 8 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Kansas race. At Kansas, Larson finished third, Keselowski finished sixth, Blaney finished seventh and Bowman finished ninth.

2019: Heading to Kansas (sixth race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Chase Elliott was ranked 10th in the Playoff standings, 15 points back from the Round of 8 cutoff. Elliott went on to finish second at Kansas and advanced on points knocking Brad Keselowski (19th-place finish at Kansas) out of the Playoffs. Heading into the elimination race, Keselowski was fifth in the Playoff standings, nine points above the Round of 8 cutoff.

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