Where Cup drivers stand heading into Round of 8

Dustin Long

A playoff field that started at 16 is down to eight. After three more races, only four will be left for the title.

A Cup champion will be crowned in less than a month in Miami.

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Here is a look at where the playoffs stand entering the Round of 8 with this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN):

MOVING ON

The eight remaining playoff drivers are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney.

DIVIDING LINE

Joey Logano holds the final transfer spot to the Championship 4 race in Miami entering this round. He has a two-point lead on Kevin Harvick. Chase Elliott trails Logano by six points. 

YOU LOOK FAMILIAR

Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch comprised the Championship 4 field last year and remain in title contention this season. Busch seeks to make the title race for a fifth consecutive year. Harvick and Truex seek to make the title race for the third year in a row.

MEET YOU IN MIAMI

Based on how drivers did in the Round of 8 tracks — Martinsville, Texas and ISM Raceway near Phoenix — earlier this season, it would seem that Joe Gibbs Racing would be in good shape to have its three remaining playoff teams advance to the championship race in Miami.

Denny Hamlin had an average finish of 3.7 at those tracks in the spring, including a win at Texas. Kyle Busch had an average finish of 4.7 at those tracks this year, including a win at ISM Raceway. Martin Truex Jr. had an average finish of 7.3 at those tracks this year. No other playoff driver had better average finishes at those tracks this season. Next was Kevin Harvick with an average finish of 7.7.

A RETURN TO WINNING WAYS?

Kyle Busch’s winless streak is 18 entering Sunday’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Since his last victory, his three Joe Gibbs Racing teammates have combined to win seven times: Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin each have three wins and Erik Jones, who was eliminated in the first round, has one win during that stretch.

POINTS STANDINGS

4046 — Kyle Busch

4042 — Martin Truex Jr.

4037 — Denny Hamlin

4030 — Joey Logano

4028 — Kevin Harvick

4024 — Chase Elliott

4011 — Kyle Larson

4009 — Ryan Blaney

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