TMS Media Relations | Oct 20, 2014
A quick glance at the reformatted, elimination-style Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff format that makes a stop at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 2, for the AAA Texas 500.
WHO: The 12-driver championship field was shaved to eight following Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, the third and final race of the Contender Round. Brad Keselowski (by virtue of Talladega win), Joey Logano (by virtue of Kansas win), Kevin Harvick (by virtue of Charlotte win), Jeff Gordon (via points), Matt Kenseth (via points), Ryan Newman (via points), Carl Edwards (via points) and Denny Hamlin (via points) advance to the Eliminator 8 Round while six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne were eliminated from championship contention.
WEEKEND RECAP: Keselowski, on the verge of elimination and in need of a victory to automatically advance, earned a dramatic win on a green/white checkered finish Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway to earn one of the eight berths in the upcoming Eliminator Round. It was his series-best sixth win of the season, but by far his most important to date. Johnson, also in need of a win to advance, led a race-high 84 laps but had no help on two restarts to help push him up front to contend and wound up 24th. Busch was the biggest surprise not to advance, seemingly sitting comfortably in second heading into Talladega. However, he got caught up in an early accident and a 40th-place finish ended his title hopes. Kahne finished 12th but that was not enough to advance and Earnhardt Jr. was 31st after getting caught up in an accident. Only two other Chase drivers besides Keselowski had top-10 finishes with Kenseth finishing second and Newman fifth. Newman failed the post-race inspection for his car height being too low, but even with the standard points penalty (15) he would still advance.
ON DECK: Keselowski will be at Texas Motor Speedway tonight to take part in the “Who’s Got Game?” fundraiser to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter. Keselowski, an avid video gamer, will take on lucky fans in Madden NFL 15 and NASCAR 14 on Big Hoss TV, the world’s largest, high definition LED video board, as well as participate in an audience Q&A from a “man cave” stage set up in the speedway infield. The event, which runs from 6-9 p.m. CT, is free to the public. For a $20 donation, guests can enjoy the VIP experience in the “Man Cave” Lounge that includes complimentary Fuzzy’s Taco Shop food, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Raffle tickets that benefit SCC for an opportunity to play against Keselowski are $100 each.
COMING UP: The eight drivers remaining in championship contention advance to the Eliminator 8 Round, which includes the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 2. The round begins with Sunday’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (ESPN) and is followed by the AAA Texas 500 (ESPN) and Phoenix International Raceway (Sunday, Nov. 9, ESPN). The point totals for the Chase drivers are all reset and equal. These three races will determine which four drivers advance to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 16, ESPN) to compete for the Sprint Cup Series championship. A win by one of the eight drivers in any of the three Eliminator 8 races automatically advances them to the championship round and the remaining berths will be filled by highest point totals from the three races.