The Monster Energy Cup Series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400. This is the final race in the round of 12 of the NASCAR playoffs. At the end of this race, four drivers will be eliminated from the playoff grid, as the field is trimmed down to 8 drivers.
#9 Chase Elliott is safe with his win at Dover, and #10 Aric Almirola joined him with his win at Talladega last weekend. The remaining 10 drivers will have to do whatever they can to advance. #22 Joey Logano is off to a great start by capturing the pole for Sunday’s race. Here is a look at the playoff grid, and where each playoff driver starts at Kansas.
1st #10 Aric Almirola 3087 points locked into the round of 8 with his win at Talladega. Aric starts 3rd at Kansas.
2nd #9 Chase Elliott 3066 points locked into the round of 8 with his win at Kansas. Chase starts 13th at Kansas.
3rd #4 Kevin Harvick 3128 points +63 above the cutoff. Kevin starts 2nd at Kansas.
4th #18 Kyle Busch 3111 points +46 above the cutoff. Kyle starts 7th at Kansas.
5th #22 Joey Logano 3104 points +39 above the cutoff. Joey starts 1st at Kansas.
6th #41 Kurt Busch 3095 points +30 above the cutoff. Kurt starts 11th at Kansas.
7th #14 Clint Bowyer 3086 points +21 above the cutoff. Clint starts 14th at Kansas.
8th #78 Martin Truex Jr 3083 points +18 above the cutoff. Martin starts 13th at Kansas.
9th #2 Brad Keselowski 3065 points -18 below the cutoff. Brad starts 5th at Kansas.
10th #12 Ryan Blaney 3061 points -22 below the cutoff. Ryan starts 4th at Kansas.
11th #42 Kyle Larson 3047 points -36 below the cutoff. Kyle qualified 27th but has to go the rear of the field in a backup car.
12th #88 Alex Bowman 3015 points -68 below the cutoff. Alex starts 10th at Kansas.
The four drivers currently below the cutoff, are all in a situation of a must win, if they hope to advance to the next round. I think Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr are in for a wild battle for the final spot in the round of 8. If Almirola hadn’t of won at Talladega, I would have Keselowski and Truex both advancing. Brad is off to a better start for Sunday as he qualified in the top five while Truex starts 13th. I think Brad Keselowski finds a way to advance and the defending champion Martin Truex Jr finds himself out of the playoffs after the round of 12. I like the #4 of Kevin Harvick to get it done in Kansas, to keep up the momentum for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Check out all the action from Kansas on Sunday afternoon. The battle to advance to the round of 8 is on. Who advances to the round of 8? Who will be in the Championship four? We will have to wait and see.