As the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue, the competition is heating up. The Round of 12 is set to begin at Texas Motor Speedway, and the pressure is on for the twelve remaining drivers. With only four spots available to advance to the Round of 8, every driver will need to give it their all to secure their spot in the next round.
The Round of 12 is known for being the biggest wild card of the playoffs. It consists of three different types of tracks: an intermediate track, a superspeedway, and a road course. This unique setup adds an element of unpredictability to the races, making it almost impossible to predict which four drivers will be eliminated.
Let’s take a look at each of the remaining twelve playoff drivers and the reasons why they have a strong chance of advancing to the Round of 8.
William Byron, currently standing in 1st place, is tied for the most points among playoff drivers and has shown consistent performance throughout the playoffs. With wins on superspeedways, intermediates, and road courses, Byron has proven his versatility as a driver.
Martin Truex Jr., in 2nd place, also has the most points among playoff drivers. He has a strong track record on road courses and 1.5-mile tracks, making him a contender for the Round of 8. Additionally, Toyota has shown speed at every intermediate track, giving Truex an extra edge.
Denny Hamlin, in 3rd place, has been a consistent frontrunner, leading laps in the past nine races and scoring two wins and three runner-up finishes. With three wins at Texas Motor Speedway and two wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Hamlin has the potential to make a strong push for the Round of 8.
Kyle Larson, in 4th place, has been dominant in the playoffs so far, posting the second-best all-time average finish in the first three races. With wins at both Texas Motor Speedway and the Roval during the 2021 playoffs, Larson has shown he can perform on different types of tracks.
Chris Buescher, in 5th place, has been on a hot streak, with three wins and six top-10 finishes in the past eight races. He finished third at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season and has had two straight top-six finishes at the Charlotte Roval, making him a strong contender for the Round of 8.
Kyle Busch, in 6th place, has a strong history at Texas Motor Speedway, with four wins at the track. He also won at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season, and his team, the No. 8 car, won at Texas Motor Speedway last season. These factors make Busch a driver to watch in the Round of 12.
Christopher Bell, in 7th place, won the Roval race last season and has shown speed with three straight pole wins to start the playoffs. He is ranked ninth-best on restarts in the Cup Series, which could give him an advantage in the Round of 12.
Tyler Reddick, in 8th place, won at Texas Motor Speedway last season and has three road course wins, including one at COTA this season. He is one of only two drivers who did not have a significant issue during the first round of the playoffs.
Ross Chastain, in 9th place, has the best average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in the Next Gen car. He won at Talladega Superspeedway last season and has scored the most points on 1.5-mile tracks in the Next Gen car.
Brad Keselowski, in 10th place, is a 14-time winner on 1.5-mile tracks and a six-time winner at Talladega Superspeedway. He is one of only two drivers who did not have a significant issue during the first three playoff races.
Ryan Blaney, in 11th place, has scored the sixth-most points on 1.5-mile tracks in the Next Gen era. He has wins at Talladega and the Roval, and he has consistently finished in the top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Bubba Wallace, in 12th place, has excelled on restarts and has a win at Talladega Superspeedway this season. He has also finished fourth in three of the past four races at 1.5-mile tracks.
With such a competitive field, it will be an intense battle as these twelve drivers fight for their spot in the Round of 8. The Round of 12 at Texas Motor Speedway is sure to be an exciting and unpredictable event that will keep fans on the edge of their seats.