NASCAR Cup Series playoffs: Buescher wins; Briscoe, Bowman, Suarez and Cindric eliminated at Bristol

·4 min read

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to its “Last Great Colosseum” in northeast Tennessee to trim its playoff field from 16 to 12 this weekend. Bristol Motor Speedway with its tight quarters and high banks is one of the most unique tracks on the circuit and always produces on-track drama. NASCAR brass know exactly what they’re doing, placing Bristol as a playoff cut-down race.

Christopher Bell enters the weekend atop the playoff column with 2,108 points, followed by William Byron (2,098), Denny Hamlin (2,097) and Joey Logano (2,090). Here is everything you need to know for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.

NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race results

  1. Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford

  2. Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  3. William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  4. Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  5. Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  6. Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  7. AJ Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  8. Cole Custer (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  9. Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  10. Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  11. Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  12. Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  13. Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford

  14. Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  15. Corey Lajoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  16. Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford

  17. Cody Ware (51), Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

  18. Todd Gilliland (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  19. Daniel Suarez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  20. Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford

  21. Erik Jones (43), Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet

  22. Landon Cassill (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  23. BJ McLeod (78), Live Fast Motorsports Ford

  24. Ty Dillon (42), Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet

  25. Tyler Reddick (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  26. Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford

  27. Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  28. Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota

  29. Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford

  30. Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  31. Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  32. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

  33. Kyle Busch (18), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  34. Ty Gibbs (45), 23XI Racing Chevrolet

  35. Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race starting grid

  1. Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  2. Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  3. Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  4. Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  5. Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  6. Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford

  7. Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  8. Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  9. Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford

  10. Brad Keselowski (6), Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford

  11. Cole Custer (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  12. Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  13. AJ Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  14. Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota

  15. Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford

  16. William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  17. Tyler Reddick (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  18. Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  19. Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  20. Chris Buescher (17), Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford

  21. Kyle Busch (18), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  22. Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  23. Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  24. Erik Jones (43), Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet

  25. Ty Gibbs (45), 23XI Racing Chevrolet

  26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

  27. Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford

  28. Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  29. Daniel Suarez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  30. Todd Gilliland (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  31. Corey Lajoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  32. Cody Ware (51), Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

  33. BJ McLeod (78), Live Fast Motorsports Ford

  34. Ty Dillon (42), Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet

  35. Landon Cassill (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  36. J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

NASCAR Cup Series weekend schedule and how to watch

Fans in the United States can watch the race on the USA network, the USA mobile app or the NBC Sports app (cable or satellite subscription required). Radio coverage is available on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM.

(All times ET)

Friday, Sept. 16

Qualifying: 5:20 -6:30 p.m. ET (USA, MRN, SiriusXM)

Saturday, Sept. 17

Bass Pro Shops Night Race: 7:30 - 11 p.m. ET (USA, MRN, SiriusXM)

Top drivers and best bets for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race

According to BetMGM four playoff drivers – Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch – enter the weekend with the best moneline at +700. Following them are fellow playoff competitors Bell and Kevin Harvick (+900 apiece).

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - MAY 31: NASCAR Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on May 31, 2020 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, foreground, and Denny Hamlin enter NASCAR's Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol as favorites. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg reports that nearly half of the money has been bet on Busch or Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. (+1600), who just narrowly missed out on the playoff chase by a handful of points. Bromberg suggests good mid-tier value can be found in Byron, who sports the same moneyline as Truex Jr. and suggests staying away from playoff driver Ross Chastain (+1400) as there is a good chance payback is coming.

Weather forecast for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Warm and clear. The “Thunder Valley” moniker is well-earned by the track not only because of its roaring action but also because thunderstorms are common in the area and have wreaked havoc on many a race weekend there, but doesn’t appear to be a concern this time around.