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What the heck is a Roval, anyway? For the uninitiated, it’s a combination of a road course and an oval track, using both components to create a course that tests car control, handling, and horsepower. The road courses at Daytona, Indianapolis, and Charlotte employs this concept.
Specifically, the Charlotte Roval is a 2.32-mile, 17-turn course that incorporates the majority of the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. Unlike the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, the Roval features elevation changes in the infield portion.
Both the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series are racing this weekend at the Roval, both featuring events that will reduce their respective Playoff fields from 12 drivers to eight. For drivers at the bottom of the standings, it’s the last chance to keep title hopes alive with a victory.
In one of the most unlikely outcomes of the 2019 season, Chase Elliott overshot Turn 1 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and plowed into the protective barriers. What looked like a race-ending accident, however, didn’t Elliott’s run.
Remarkably, his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet sustained only superficial damage, and Elliott diced through the field to win the race. That’s one of the reasons why DraftKings Sportsbook has installed Elliott (+275) as the favorite to go back-to-back at the Roval.
Elliott likely won’t have to win to retain his eligibility for the Cup championship. With four of the remaining 12 Playoff drivers set to be eliminated after Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400, Elliott is third in the standings, 44 points ahead of Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon, the first two drivers below the current cut line.
Busch, on the other hand, may well need a victory to prevent his title defense from ending prematurely.
|Bank of America Roval 400 Information
|Bank of America Roval 400 NASCAR Cup Series race
|Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
|Sunday, Oct. 11, 2:30 p.m. EST
|How to Watch
The last time the NASCAR Xfinity Series raced on a combination road course/oval, Chase Briscoe took the checkered flag, but it was anything but easy. The driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford survived a free-for-all that included Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, and AJ Allmendinger.
You can expect a similar battle to the finish at the Roval, but Briscoe won’t be the favorite. Cindric, the most adept road course racer in the full-time Xfinity ranks, is listed at +150. A five-time winner this season, Cindric just announced a contract extension with Team Penske that will keep him in the No. 22 Ford next year—and will give him an opportunity to run a handful of NASCAR Cup races before graduating to the top series in 2022.
Briscoe and Allmendinger, a part-timer with Kaulig Racing, are second on the odds board at +400. Briscoe has a series-best eight victories this season and already is locked into the Round of 8 in the Playoff, thanks to his victory in the postseason opener at Las Vegas.
|Drive for the Cure 250 Information
|Drive for the Cure 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race
|Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
|Saturday, Oct. 10, 3:30 p.m. EST
|How to Watch
Drivers Christian Eckes and Todd Gilliland said good-bye to the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff last Saturday during a wild scramble at Talladega Superspeedway. Non-Playoff driver Raphael Lessard won the race, and Eckes, a rookie, and Gilliland were eliminated from the postseason on points.
The Truck Series has the week off before heading for Kansas Speedway and the first event in the Round of 8 on Oct. 17. The remaining drivers in the Playoff are Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill, Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith and Tyler Ankrum.
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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