Chase Tracker: Clint Bowyer remains in final transfer spot with two races to go

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Twenty-four races have been run and two NASCAR Sprint Cup events remain until the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set.

Sixteen drivers will advance to the Chase. Any driver with a victory, ranking in the top 30 in points and having started every race (unless granted a NASCAR waiver) will make the Chase.

Joey Logano‘s victory Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway means there remain 11 different winners this season. Ten winners have clinched a Chase spot. Kyle Busch, who has four wins, is not guaranteed a Chase spot because he has not clinched a place in the top 30 in points.

While the top 16 drivers in the Chase grid remain the same from last week, Clint Bowyer extended his hold on the final transfer spot. He leads Aric Almirola by 35 points after gaining 12 points on Almirola at Bristol.

Here’s who is Chase eligible at this point in the season (*clinched Chase spot):

1 – Jimmie Johnson (4 wins) … 792 points*

2 – Kyle Busch (4 wins) … 433 points

3 – Joey Logano (3 wins) … 865 points*

4 – Matt Kenseth (3 wins) … 753 points*

5 – Kevin Harvick (2 wins) … 908 points*

6 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 wins) … 819 points*

7 – Kurt Busch (2 wins) … 713 points*

8 – Brad Keselowski (1 win) … 793 points*

9 – Martin Truex Jr. (1 win) … 771 points*

10 – Denny Hamlin (1 win) … 712 points*

11 – Carl Edwards (1 win) … 666 points*

12 – Jamie McMurray (0 wins) … 696 points

13 – Ryan Newman (0 wins) … 683 points

14 – Paul Menard (0 wins) … 674 points

15 – Jeff Gordon (0 wins) … 672 points

16 – Clint Bowyer (0 wins) … 655 points

DRIVERS OUTSIDE A CHASE SPOT

17 – Aric Almirola (0 wins) … 35 point behind 16th

18 – Kasey Kahne (0 wins) … 37 points behind 16th

19 – Greg Biffle (0 wins) … 83 points behind 16th

20 – Austin Dillon (0 wins) … 91 points behind 16th

21 – Kyle Larson (0 wins) … 104 points behind 16th

22 – Danica Patrick (0 wins) … 130 points behind 16th

23 – Casey Mears (0 wins) … 139 points behind 16th

24 – AJ Allmendinger (0 wins) … 140 points behind 16th

25 – David Ragan (0 wins) … 164 points behind 16th

26 – Sam Hornish Jr. (0 wins) … 179 points behind 16th

27 – Tony Stewart (0 wins) … 189 points behind 16th

28 – Trevor Bayne (0 wins) … 212 points behind 16th

29 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (0 wins) … 221 points behind 16th

30 – Justin Allgaier (0 wins) … 246 points behind 16th

 

After NASCAR’S regular season ends, 16 drivers will advance to the Chase. Drivers will be eliminated after each round until a champion is crowned. Sign up at nbcsports.com/gridchallenge for a chance to win $16 million.

 

 

Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway

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Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.