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CHASE FIELD SET AS TMS READIES FOR PLAYOFF TRIPLEHEADER
- Speedway Will Host Chase Playoff Races In All Three NASCAR National Series For First Time In History
- Prosper's Chris Buescher Becomes One Of Only Three Drivers To Earn Chase Berth In Rookie Season
FORT WORTH, Texas (September 12, 2016) - The Chase field has been set for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while those in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series are rapidly materializing as Texas Motor Speedway prepares to play host to a championship playoff tripleheader Nov. 4-6 with the AAA Texas 500 race weekend.
It will mark the first time that Texas Motor Speedway will host Chase playoff races in all three of NASCAR's national series as the thrilling, elimination-style championship format makes its debut in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series this season.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field will consist of 16 drivers among the 40-car field that will contest for the series championship in a 10-race, four-round format. The first three rounds (Round of 16, Round of 12 and Round of 8) will be three-race segments with four drivers ultimately reaching the Championship Round, a winner-take-all race Sunday, Nov. 20, at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the top finisher of that group will be crowned champion. The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 6, (1 p.m. CT, TV: NBC) will be the middle race of the Round of 8.
A win in a playoff round automatically advances a Chase driver to the next round while the remainder of the field will be filled by those eligible drivers with the highest point totals in that segment. Texas Motor Speedway becomes a pivotal stop since a win in the AAA Texas 500 by a remaining championship-eligible Chase driver earns an automatic berth in the title race.
The 16 drivers that have qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are Brad Keselowski (4 wins), Kyle Busch (4), Denny Hamlin (3), Jimmie Johnson (2), Carl Edwards (2), Matt Kenseth (2), Kevin Harvick (2), Martin Truex Jr. (2), Kurt Busch (1), Joey Logano (1), Tony Stewart (1), Kyle Larson (1), Chris Buescher (1), Austin Dillon (points), Jamie McMurray (points) and Chase Elliott (points).
Buescher, a native of Prosper, Texas, and Elliott earned Chase berths in their rookie seasons, which is a rarity. The only other driver to accomplish the feat since the Chase format was instituted in 2004 was Hamlin in '06. Buescher, who drives the No. 34 Loves Ford for Front Row Motorsports, earned his way in with a victory in the rain-shortened race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on Aug. 1.
The opening Chase race is Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (1:30 p.m. CT, TV: NBCSN).
The XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series will have a modified version of the Chase format utilized in the Sprint Cup Series. Both series only will have seven races over three rounds (Round of 12, Round of 8 and the Championship Round) with a smaller group of contenders. Also, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars are ineligible for these championships.
The Chase driver field will be set for both series following this weekend's action at Chicagoland. The Camping World Truck Series will determine its Chase field following the American Ethanol E15 225 on Friday and the XFINITY Series will do the same following Saturday's Drive for Safety 300.
The XFINITY Series field will be made up of 12 drivers and those who have qualified thus far by virtue of a win during the season are Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez, leaving nine berths up for grabs at Chicagoland.
The opening Chase race for the XFINITY Series will be the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Kentucky Speedway. The O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 5 (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: NBC) will be the middle race of the Round of 8.
The Camping World Truck Series field for the Chase will be comprised of eight drivers. Those that have qualified up to this stage with a win are William Byron, Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Ben Kennedy and Christopher Bell.
The opening Chase race for the Camping World Truck Series will be the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 24 (Noon CT, TV: FS1). The Longhorn 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 4, (7:30 p.m. CT, TV: FS1) also will be the middle race of the Round of 8.
Tickets are available for all three Chase races at Texas Motor Speedway by calling (817) 215-8500 or visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.