The round of 12 for the NASCAR Cup Series has arrived and the track to kick it off is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the site which kicked off the round of 16 last year. Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Cole Custer and Matt DiBenedetto were eliminated from the round of 16 last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, leaving only 12 drivers left to compete for the championship.
Last week at Bristol, Kevin Harvick won a close battle over Kyle Busch to win his ninth race of the season and second of the three round of 16 races (other at Darlington). Harvick has been dominant in 2020 as he also has 19 top-five finishes, four more than the second-place driver (Denny Hamlin). Harvick will start on the pole at Las Vegas.
Busch will start second after falling just short last week for his first Cup Series win in 2020. Chase Elliott, who has seven stage wins on the season along with 17 top-10 finishes, will start third. Aric Almirola, who has the same amount of top-10 finishes as Elliott, will start fourth.
In February’s race at Las Vegas, Joey Logano picked up his first of two victories on the season (other at Phoenix in March). He won on an overtime restart after Blaney and Alex Bowman pitted while in front. Logano will start fifth beside Clint Bowyer.
Austin Dillon, who finished second and fourth in the Darlington and Richmond round of 16 races respectively, will start seventh beside Bowman. Kurt Busch will start ninth.
Hamlin, the runner-up to Harvick in regular-season points, finished outside the top 10 in all three round of 16 races. He will start 10th at Las Vegas.
Rounding out the 12 drivers alive in the championship race is Martin Truex Jr. (last year’s fall race winner at Las Vegas) and Brad Keselowski. They will start 11th and 12th respectively.
Coverage for the South Point 400 will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST. The stages end on lap 80, lap 160 and the finish on lap 267 with a competition caution on lap 25. You can catch the race on NBCSN and the Motor Racing Network.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/09/22/goodyear-fast-facts-las-vegas-5/