NASCAR in Texas: Chase Elliott leads, how to watch, line up

Heading into this weekend – thanks to a par-determined playoff and a good enough round-of-16 performance – Chase Elliott leads the field once again.

But is he ready for Texas?

Round two of the NASCAR Cup Series qualifiers arrive at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday at 3 p.m. You can catch up on the race on USA Newtork Radio, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR.

Elliott leads the cup field on points ahead of Sunday. And that’s despite a sluggish start to the 2022 playoffs: Dawsonville, Georgia, finished last in Darlington and 29th in Kansas — but returning points and his dominance in the regular season propelled him to the top of the standings once again. (The points total of the 12 drivers still in the chasing Championship Cup has been reset to 3,000 with earned playoff points added to the total. Elliott, with 40 playoff points earned throughout the season, now leads the field with 3,040 points—31 above eight cut-offs.)

Car #9 finished second in Bristol last weekend, and the driver is hoping that momentum will carry him through a track…that’s not exactly his favourite.

“I feel like there’s been a challenge for years,” Elliott told reporters earlier this week. “I don’t feel like anything new. This is just Texas, in my opinion. …

“As much as I hate going there, I still think we can win. We just have to put a good weekend together and put in a solid day.”

When asked why Elliott hates Texas, he added that he thinks they “sort of destroyed” the racetrack. Texans were also under scrutiny earlier this year in this season’s All-Star Race – an event that made many, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. , they think so The race made a real futility drama for the fans.

Christopher Bell had a top three finish in the first round of qualifying but couldn’t find a way to score any playoff points, so he finished seventh in the points standings. He’s at 3,013 points — a tie with Denny Hamlin (7th) and Ryan Blaney (8th), who won the All-Star race in Texas in May.

Under the cutting streak at the moment: Chase Briscoe (3009), Alex Bowman (3007), Daniel Suarez (3007) and Austin Sendrick (3006).

All qualifying drivers can claim a place in the next round with a win. Then again – in further evidence of this year’s weirdness – the accessory driver has not won a race in this year’s post-season.

Brad Keselowski will start at the top. Part-owner RFK Racing is coming in for a big weekend, when RFK’s Chris Boecher won in Bristol. (Buescher will start on the 13th on Sunday.) Joey Logano will start in P2, and William Byron and Tyler Reddick will make up the next row.

The last driver to win a Cup race in Texas was Kyle Larson in 2021. Prior to that, the last 10 races in Texas included winners who are no longer in the chasing a Cup championship or have long since retired. (Hamlin won the tournament in November 2010.)

Here’s what you need to know, too.

NASCARTexas Car Racing (4) .JPG
Winning driver Kyle Larson celebrates by taking a mandatory six-shooter photo after taking his flag for his second straight in the NASCAR Cup Series qualifying race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Larry Babke AP

NASCAR race details at Texas Motor Speedway

  • a race: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500
  • place: Texas Motor Speedway
  • When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • money bag: $8,455,617
  • Television: USA, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90)
  • distance: distance: 501 miles (334 laps)
  • Phase: The first stage ends on lap 105, the second stage ends on lap 210, and the third stage ends on lap 334

Starting lineup: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

ranking driver car number
1 Brad Kiselowski 6
2 Joey Logano 22
3 William Byron 24
4 Tyler Riddick 8
5 Michael McDowell 34
6 Chase Elliot 9
7 Austin Dillon 3
8 Denny Hamlin 11
9 Kyle Larson 5
10 Daniel Suarez 99
11 Austin Cendrick 2
12 Ross Chastain 1
13 Chris Bucher 17
14 Ryan Blaney 12
15th Martin Truex Jr. 19
16 Ty Gibbs 23
17 Alex Bowman 48
18 Kyle Bush 18
19 Bubba Wallace 45
20 Harrison Burton 21
21 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47
22 Christopher Bell 20
23 Kevin Harvick 4
24 Cole Custer 41
25 Eric Almerola 10
26 Noah Gregson 16
27 Eric Jones 43
28 Todd Gilliland 38
29 Corey Lagoy 7
30 Chase Brisco 14
31 Justin Haley 31
32 Ty Dillon 42
33 Garrett Smithley 15th
34 PJ MacLeod 78
35 Landon Castle 77
36 kodi ware 51

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Alex Zietlow writes about NASCAR, Charlotte FC, and the ways sports intersect with life in the Charlotte area for The Observer, where he has been a reporter since August 2022. Zietlow’s work has been honored by the NC and SC Press Association, also as an APSE, which gave him a Top 10 Ranks in the Beat Writing and Short Feature categories in the 2021 Writing Contest. Previously wrote for The Herald in Rock Hill from 2019 to 22.

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