The round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. This marks the second race of the round of 8. #22 Joey Logano moved #78 Martin Truex Jr out of the way to win at Martinsville last weekend locking himself into the Championship four at Homestead.
Things are always bigger in Texas, will we see more drivers in the playoffs move people out of the way to get the win and lock themselves into the championship four two races from now. This Texas race has had major impacts in recent seasons, including Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon’s incident in 2014. Hopefully, we don’t see anything like that night, but this race could be unpredictable as the playoff drivers are looking for any way to advance to the championship.
Ryan Blaney Captured the pole for Sunday’s race. A look at where each of the playoff drivers qualified for this weekend’s race. #14 Clint Bowyer stars second, teammate and #4 Kevin Harvick rolls off third. #10 Aric Almirola starts fourth. #41 Kurt Busch qualified seventh, while brother #18 Kyle Busch starts 10th. #22 Joey Logano starts in eighth, and the final two playoff drivers have some work to do as #78 Martin Truex Jr starts 13th and #9 Chase Elliott starts 16th.
Who will join Logano in the Championship four, as only two races remain until Homestead? Someone can punch their ticket on Sunday at Texas. Can Chase Elliott return to the top where he was only two races ago? Will Martin Truex Jr payback Logano before Homestead? Lots of question heading into Sunday’s race. Here is a look at the playoff grid going into Texas.
1st #22 Joey Logano 4074 points locked into the Championship four with a win at Martinsville.
2nd #18 Kyle Busch 4104 points +46 above the cutoff.
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr 4083 points +25 above the cutoff.
4th #4 Kevin Harvick 4083 points +25 above the cutoff.
5th #41 Kurt Busch 4058 points -25 below the cutoff.
6th #9 Chase Elliott 4052 points -31 below the cutoff.
7th #14 Clint Bowyer 4041 points -42 below the cutoff.
8th #10 Aric Almirola 4033 points -50 below the cutoff.
Kyle Busch won the spring race at Texas, and he will be hungry for the sweep. That is why he is my pick to get the win in Texas and lock himself into the Championship four. The Big Three have only won one playoff race this season and that was Kyle Busch at Richmond. Keep an eye the Penske drivers as Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski qualified in the top five. They could be non-playoff drivers, that could sneak a win before the end of the season.