Today's NASCAR race is the final NASCAR Cup Series event before the championship next week. Seven drivers will be competing for three playoffs spots at the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Today's race will start at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. It will also stream on the NBC Sports App and Peacock.
Of the seven drivers who have not clinched a playoff spot, four are within six points of the elimination line. And as mentioned by NASCAR.com, at least two drivers will make the Championship 4 on points since Kyle Larson is the only driver to win one of the three playoff races. As it stands now, defending Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch would qualify for the championship race as they are in the top four of the standings. The four eliminated would be Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
Blaney is one of the top storylines for today's race as he is one point out of the elimination line. He is looking to make it to the Championship 4 for the first time in his career. "We've been in the Round of 8, this is the third time, and just haven't been able to make the championship race yet," Blaney said Thursday, per NASCAR.com. "So, yeah, I think that's a big, big hurdle for us, for myself personally. It would be a great accomplishment to be able to that, not only for myself but everyone working on this 12 car – and give Todd a shot to run for a championship in his last season."
Truex is happy that he is back in Martinsville. He has won three of the last four races at the track, including the one that was held in April. A big outing could propel Truex into the top four as he's only the points under the elimination line.
"I expect it to be pretty similar (to the April race)," Truex said this week. "We'll just wait and see how it plays out. Martinsville is funny because it can change 10 or 15 degrees, or the start time of the race can be a little different and you can find yourself being a little off. It's a funny, quirky little place, but we have a lot of confidence and it's been good to us over the past few seasons. Hopefully, we can go there and get the job done."