Bristol elimination race: A look at what each driver needs to advance

·3 min read

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Saturday night’s Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on USA Network) will eliminate four drivers from title contention.

Here’s is a look at the playoff standings, what it will take for each driver to advance and their results in the first two races of the opening round. The tiebreaker is best result in this round.

1. Christopher Bell — Has clinched a spot in the second round. Reached the second round in last year’s playoffs before he was eliminated. Finished 5th at Darlington and 3rd at Kansas.

2. William Byron (+48 to the cutline) — Needs to score eight points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Was eliminated in the first round in 2020, made it to the second round in 2021. Finished 8th at Darlington and 6th at Kansas.

3. Denny Hamlin (+47 to the cutline)— Needs to score eight points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has made it to the title race each of the past three years. Finished 2nd at Darlington and 2nd at Kansas.

4. Joey Logano (+40 to the cutline)— Needs to score 16 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has made it to the title race every even-numbered year of the Cup playoffs: 2014, ’16, ’18 and ’20. Finished 4th at Darlington and 17th at Kansas.

5. Ryan Blaney (+36 to the cutline)— Needs to score 20 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has been eliminated in the first round only once. That was in 2020. Finished 13th at Darlington and 9th at Kansas.

6. Alex Bowman (+30 to the cutline)— Needs to score 26 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has made it to at least the second round in each of the past four seasons. Finished 10th at Darlington and 4th at Kansas.

7. Chase Elliott (+28 to the cutline)— Needs to score 28 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has made it to the championship race each of the past two seasons. Finished 36th at Darlington and 11th at Kansas.

8. Kyle Larson (+27 to the cutline)— Needs to score 29 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Reigning Cup champion. Finished 12th at Darlington and 8th at Kansas.

9. Ross Chastain (+26 to the cutline)— Needs to score 30 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. First time in Cup playoffs. Finished 20th at Darlington and 7th at Kansas.

10. Daniel Suarez (+6 to the cutline)— Needs to score 50 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. First time in Cup playoffs. Finished 18th at Darlington and 10th at Kansas.

11. Tyler Reddick (+2 to the cutline)— Needs to score 54 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Eliminated in the first round last year in his first time in the Cup playoffs. Finished 3rd at Darlington and 35th at Kansas.

12. Austin Cindric (+2 to the cutline)— Needs to score 54 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. First time in Cup playoffs. Finished 16th at Darlington and 12th at Kansas.

13. Kyle Busch (-2 to the cutline)— Needs to score 55 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Two-time Cup champion who has never been eliminated in the first round. Finished 30th at Darlington and 26th at Kansas.

14. Austin Dillon (-3 to the cutline)— Needs to score 55 points to guarantee advancement to the second round. Has twice been eliminated in the first round. Finished 17th at Darlington and 14th at Kansas.

15. Chase Briscoe (-9 to the cutline)— Needs to win or have help to advance (others falling out of the race early or finishing poorly). First time in Cup playoffs. Finished 27th at Darlington and 13th at Kansas.

16. Kevin Harvick (-35 to the cutline)— Needs to win or have help to advance (others falling out of the race early or finishing poorly). The 2014 Cup champion has never been eliminated in the first round. Finished 33rd at Darlington and 36th at Kansas.

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Bristol elimination race: A look at what each driver needs to advance originally appeared on NBCSports.com