NCS AT BRISTOL: Team Chevy Advance


500-laps around the high-banked, .533-mile, concrete oval of Bristol Motor Speedway will determine the 12 drivers that will continue in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) championship title hunt. Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at the famed short track known as “The Last Great Colosseum” is the third race of the 2022 NCS playoffs, marking the first elimination race in the post-season run to the championship. This season is the third consecutive year that Bristol Motor Speedway has held the role as the Round of 16 cutoff race for the series. 


NASCAR’s premier series first made its debut at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1961; and since the inaugural event, the track has hosted 121 races for the series. The winningest manufacturer in the NCS at Bristol, Chevrolet leads the way in wins with 46, most recently coming with Kyle Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team in the 2021 playoff race at the track. That triumph at the Tennessee short track was Larson’s first of five in the 2021 playoffs.. a feat that tied Tony Stewart’s record for the most wins recorded in a single post-season.

With the first two playoff races being won by non-playoff drivers and only one driver locked-in by points; stakes are even higher for drivers and teams across the playoff field. Coming off consecutive top-10 finishes in the first two races of the Round of 16; William Byron and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team leads the bowtie brand in the playoff standings in second, 48-points above the cutline. 


Sixth through 11th in the playoff standings are currently taken by Chevrolet drivers with Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman (6th), Chase Elliott (7th) and Kyle Larson (8th); Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain (9th) and Daniel Suarez (10th); and Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick in 11th. While Reddick’s teammate Austin Dillon might be on the outside looking in, the No. 3 RCR Camaro ZL1 team is just three-points below the cutline.


A look at where the Team Chevy NCS playoff drivers stand heading into Round of 16 elimination race, including season numbers and career stats at Bristol Motor Speedway:  

William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 2nd in Playoff Standings (+48 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s: 7; Laps Led: 671;

Average Finish: 17.3; Stage Wins: 4


At Bristol Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 1; Top-10s: 2; Average Finish: 18.143


Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Byron’s fourth consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Bryon’s career-best finish in the NCS playoffs came in 2021, finishing the season 10th in the final standings.

Byron has recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes in the first two races of the Round of 16 (Darlington – 8th; Kansas – 6th).  

Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 6th in Playoff Standings (+30 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s: 12; Laps Led: 136;

Average Finish: 15.1; Stage Wins: 2


At Bristol Motor Speedway:

Top-Fives: 2; Top-10s: 3; Average Finish; 20.455


Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Bowman’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Bowman has raced his way into the Round of 12 in each of his NCS playoff appearances; making it to the Round of Eight in the 2020 season to score a career-best sixth in the final standings.

– Bowman scored a stage win and led a race-high 107 laps en route to a fourth-place finish at Kansas; moving him from 10th to sixth in the playoff standings and 30-points above the cutline. 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 7th in Playoff Standings (+28 points above the cutline)

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 4 (series-leading)

Top-Fives: 10; Top-10s: 17; Laps Led: 719; Average Finish: 11.5; Stage Wins: 5


At Bristol Motor Speedway:  

Pole Wins: 1; Top-Fives: 3; Top-10s: 5;

Average Finish: 13.273


Of Note:

– For the first time in his NCS career, Elliott was crowned the 2022 NCS Regular Season Champion.

– The 2022 season marks Elliott’s seventh consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Elliott has advanced to the Championship 4 the past two seasons, winning his first career NCS Driver Championship in 2020.

– Six of his 17 career NCS wins have come in the playoffs.

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 8th in Playoff Standings (+27 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 2

Pole Wins: 3; Top-Fives: 10; Top-10s: 14;

Laps Led: 307;  Average Finish: 14.0;

Stage Wins: 3


At Bristol Motor Speedway:  

Victories: 1; Pole Wins; Top-fives: 3; Top-10s: 8; Average Finish: 13.385


Of Note:

– In 2021, Larson scored his first career NCS Regular Season Championship, going on to win his first career NCS Driver Championship.

– The 2022 season marks Larson’s sixth appearance in the NCS playoffs, with 2021 bringing Larson his first trip to the Championship 4.

– During the playoff era (2004-present); Larson leads the series in ‘multiple playoff race wins in a single season’ with five in 2021 (Bristol, Charlotte ROVAL, Texas, Kansas, Phoenix).

– Larson is the series’ most recent winner at Bristol Motor Speedway (September 2021). 

Ross Chastain, No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 – 9th in Playoff Standings (+26 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 10; Top-10s: 15; Laps Led: 584; Average Finish: 14.5; Stage Wins: 5


At Bristol Motor Speedway:

Average Finish: 26.8


Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Chastain’s first career appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Chastain secured a playoff berth with his first career NCS win at COTA in March; also marking Trackhouse Racing’s first win in the organization’s second season in the series. 

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 – 10th in Playoff Standings (+6 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 6; Top-10s: 11; Laps Led: 246;

Average Finish: 16.3; Stage Wins: 2


At Bristol Motor Speedway:

Top-10s: 2; Average Finish: 16


Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Suarez’s first career appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Suarez earned his playoff berth following his first career NCS win at Sonoma Raceway. 

Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1 – 11th in Playoff Standings (+2 points above the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 2

Pole Wins: 2; Top-Fives: 9; Top-10s: 12;

Laps Led: 369; Average Finish: 16.8;

Stage Wins: 2


At Bristol Motor Speedway:  

Top-Fives: 1; Top-10s: 1; Average Finish: 17.333


Of Note:  

– The 2022 season marks Reddick’s second consecutive appearance in the NCS playoffs, with his first coming in 2021.

– Reddick earned a playoff berth following his first career NCS win at Road America; going on to win his second of the season at the Indianapolis Road Course.

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Camaro ZL1 – 14th in Playoff Standings (-3 points below the cutline)

2022 Season To-Date:

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s: 8; Laps Led: 21;

Average Finish: 16.6


At Bristol Motor Speedway:

Top-10s: 1; Top-10s: 3; Average Finish: 16.867


Of Note:

– The 2022 season marks Dillon’s fifth appearance in the NCS playoffs.

– Dillon’s career-best finish in the NCS playoffs is 11th, accomplishing that feat in 2017 and 2020.

Chevrolet All-Time NASCAR Cup Series



Manufacturer Championships:

1st Chevy Title: 1958

Most Recent Title: 2021

Highest Number of Consecutive Titles: 13 (2003-2015)


Driver Championships:

1st Chevy title: Buck Baker (1957)

Most Recent: Kyle Larson (2021)

Highest Number of Consecutive Titles: 7 (2005-2011)





As the season winds down, Noah Gragson and the No. 9 JR Motorsports Camaro SS team continues to heat up. Edging out teammate Justin Allgaier to capture the stage two win at Kansas Speedway – his series-leading 13th of the season – Gragson was at the top of the leaderboard when the skies opened up, with rain forcing the race to be called official. The victory was Gragson’s career-best and now series-leading fifth of the season, including second in a row. 


Continuing its winning ways, the Camaro SS now sits at 18 victories in the series’ 25 races, more than double its manufacturer competitors combined. Chevrolet is also well on its way to its sixth consecutive NXS Manufacturer Championship, with another dominate weekend extending Chevrolet’s lead in the manufacturer points standings to 115-points over second. 


While the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs are already underway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Bristol Motor Speedway to conclude its regular-season and complete the 12-driver playoff field that will compete for the NXS championship title.


Heading into Friday’s Food City 300, only two spots remain for drivers to either point or win their way into the 2022 NXS playoffs. Of the 10 drivers that have already clinched their playoff berth, seven come from the bowtie brigade. Six of those Chevrolet drivers have won their way into the playoff field, including NXS points leader AJ Allmendinger; JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Josh Berry; RCR’s Austin Hill; and Jeremy Clements. Following his 13th top-10 finish of the season at Kansas, JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer secured his spot in the playoffs by points and the seventh Chevrolet driver to advance to the post-season.


Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger is heading into the series’ regular-season finale looking to not only go back-to-back in wins at Bristol, but also defend his NXS regular-season championship title. The 40-year-old California native has been at the top of the points standings leaderboard for much of the season; and currently sitting at a 38-point lead over second, Allmendinger is a favorite for the regular-season title and the playoff bonus points. 


Chevrolet’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoff contender, Grant Enfinger, took the first round of the series’ playoffs by storm. Right out of the gate, Enfinger and the No. 23 GMS Racing Silverado RST team solidified their spot into the Round of 8 with their win in the series’ playoff opener at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Enfinger went on to make it three-for-three in top-five finishes in the Round of 10; following up his victory with a fourth-place finish at Richmond Raceway and a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway last weekend.



 The NCWTS Round of 8 is made up of three races on three very different racetrack configurations. First up is the short track of Bristol Motor Speedway, with Thursday’s UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics also kicking off the NASCAR tripleheader race weekend. The second race of the Round of 8 will take place on a superspeedway (Talladega Superspeedway, October 1), with the 1.5-mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway hosting the elimination race that will determine the NCWTS Championship 4. 


·       Victories by active Chevrolet drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway include:

       Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 (2021)


·       Chevrolet has recorded a manufacturer-leading 46 NASCAR Cup Series wins at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chevrolet’s first win at the track came in July 1971 with Charlie Glotzbach, with the bowtie brand going on to win seven in a row. 


·       Erik Jones leads all active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol Motor Speedway with a 12.444 in nine career starts.





·       Three of the top-five NASCAR Cup Series drivers that have led the most laps thus far come from the bowtie brand, led by the 2022 NCS regular-season champion Chase Elliott (719 laps). Joining Elliott in the top-five of that chart includes William Byron in second (671 laps) and Ross Chastain in fourth (584 laps).





·       In 28 NASCAR Cup Series points-paying racing, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in NCS race wins (16), top-fives (66), top-10s (122), laps led (3,295) and stage wins (23). With a double-digit lead in wins over its manufacturer competitors with only eight races remaining; Chevrolet has already clinched the most NCS wins recorded in a single season among all manufacturers.


·       Chevrolet’s manufacturer-leading 16 NASCAR Cup Series wins in 2022 have been recorded by nine drivers from four different Chevrolet Teams. Eight of those drivers won their way into the 16-driver playoff field, giving Chevrolet 50 percent of the playoff field in the opening round.



·       Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 23 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:

Tyler Reddick 2 – Fontana x2

Alex Bowman 1 – Las Vegas, Kansas

Ross Chastain 4 – Las Vegas, Darlington, Charlotte, Pocono, Richmond

William Byron 4 – Phoenix, Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington

Daniel Suarez 2 – COTA, Charlotte

Chase Elliott 3 – Martinsville x2, Charlotte, Atlanta x2

Kyle Larson 3 – Bristol, Sonoma, Pocono


·       Reigning NASCAR Cup Series and NASAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Champions, Chevrolet, continues to lead in the manufacturer points standings in both series. The bowtie brand leads the NCS manufacturer points standings by 92-points, with the manufacturer’s lead in the NXS standings expanding to 115-points.





·       Heading into the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway, AJ Allmendinger will look to capture his second-career NXS regular-season championship title; entering the race with a 38-point lead over second. Of the 10 drivers that have already clinched their playoff berth in the series, seven come from the bowtie brand.


·       With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships, and 830 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR. 


·       Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Bristol Motor Speedway.

·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Tahoe Z71, Blazer RS, 1500 Silverado Crew ZR2, 2500 Silverado Crew LTZ, Equinox RS, Traverse RS, Corvette Z51, Camaro ZL1.


Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Thursday, September 15

·       Rajah Caruth: 1:30 p.m. 

·       Grant Enfinger & Jack Wood: 1:45 p.m. 

·       Carson Hocevar & Lawless Alan: 3:30 p.m. 


Friday, September 16

·       Kris Wright: 12:15 p.m. 

·       Brandon Brown: 12:30 p.m. 

·       Nick Sanchez: 12:45 p.m. 

·       Jeremy Clements: 4:45 p.m. 


Saturday, September 17

·       Corey LaJoie: 4 p.m. 

·       Ty Dillon: 5 p.m. 


Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:  

Thursday, September 15: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Friday, September 16: 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  

Saturday, September 17: 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  


Tune In: 

USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 17. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


USA Network will broadcast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, September 16. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


FS1 will broadcast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 15. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 



This weekend is a playoff cutoff race, what’s it going to be like?

“I’m so happy to be racing on the concrete at Bristol this time. It’s going to be an intense race because it’s an elimination race and I’m sure NASCAR knew what they were doing when they made it an elimination race. The atmosphere is always a little wild – walking through all of the fans and their excitement.”


What do you think the race at Bristol is going to be like?

“I don’t think I have an answer for that. With the new car its changed how we drive so many tracks with the shifting and different things, so only time will tell, especially on the concrete at Bristol.”


Do you ever take time to think about all of the stuff you’ve been through in your career, and now you see your name and think ‘wow?’

“I do. It’s interesting because with this current car, watching a ton of old races for each track you’re at doesn’t really apply anymore. You can really only look at the race earlier this year. So when I go back and look at races from earlier this year when we are headed back for the second time, and we had a winning car, that’s where I go ‘wow, that’s crazy to me.’ Seeing my name at the merchandise hauler is cool but where I really feel it is when I think about all of the winning cars I’ve had this year.”



Larson on if high-intensity dirt-track racing helps “slow down” the racing action at Bristol Motor Speedway for him:

“I think Bristol (Motor Speedway) is definitely higher paced, higher intensity and more chaotic than any other track we go to. I’m used to high-intensity racing almost every week, so maybe the action ‘slows down’ a little bit for me at Bristol. I guarantee it doesn’t feel slow in the cockpit. It feels crazy and chaotic, and that’s why I love it.”



Daniels on if characteristics of concrete Dover Motor Speedway track carry over to Bristol:

“We’ve studied the most relevant data points we can pull from for comparison from years past – Dover (Motor Speedway) being one of them and other short tracks being another. Bristol is not really a short track and it’s not really an intermediate – it’s a super-fast short track. There are characteristics from both styles of tracks that kind of blend for Bristol, so how we have blended things in the past is how we are preparing for this weekend.”



Elliott on the approach you must have heading into the first elimination race:

“No one is safe in this grid and this format. You have to be willing to accept a hard challenge or accept a must-win situation. I’ve said that a lot over the last few years. Phoenix (Raceway) is a must win, so you are just preparing yourself to embrace moments like that more and be more comfortable in situations of that magnitude. We’ll see what it brings.”


Elliott on the unknowns of racing the Next Gen for the first time on the concrete Bristol layout: “That one is really interesting in my opinion. I’m excited to get to Bristol (Motor Speedway). It’s a really iconic event on our schedule. That fall night race is one that I always look forward to going to. I’m excited about that. Hopefully, you get it (the setup) right because it will be a bit of a guess for everyone.”



Gustafson on the challenge of the Next Gen car at Bristol:

“It’s going to be a challenge for sure since we haven’t raced there with this car. Bristol (Motor Speedway) is super unique. There’s not a whole lot you can find a lot of parallels with. It’s going to be a clean sheet of paper setup and you have no experience running there. This is going to be one of the tougher ones for sure. The key is to have a good car and have good speed. That will open up a lot of opportunities to score a lot of points and I certainly think that we’re capable of doing that.”



Byron on what it will take to continue momentum through the final race of the Round of 16: “I think we need just one more solid, smooth race to say that we’ve turned things around from the summer. We’ve had two good races so far to open this round. It’s really about continuing to limit the damage and mistakes in the first round especially with how a lot of things are different this year. The competition seems to fluctuate more at different style tracks. It’s more about racing your own race and not the competition. You need to be the best version of yourself and can’t overthink too much. It’s race the way we know how and definitely not do anything too crazy right now to jeopardize that. We just need to make sure we continue to have all the little details buttoned up so we don’t cost us our own race and we’ll advance on.”



Fugle on the strategy involved for Saturday’s race:

“This weekend is a little bit of an unknown since we haven’t race at Bristol (Motor Speedway) yet with the Next Gen car, not on dirt. We have a good short-track package from previous races this season that gives us a good starting point. I think historically this race, similar to the first two races of the playoffs, have more of a strategy element to them. You have a chance of long green-flag runs and having to manage lap traffic. That brings up the decision on when to pit or when not to pit. Those types of races are the ones we live for. If a caution comes out at the right time, you can’t control that. Once and awhile you have a straight forward race where everything lines up and you consistently pit within the same five-lap window. Those races are nice but it doesn’t happen often. We get paid to make those decisions on what to do when. It makes it interesting to watch especially with points on the line. Saturday night’s race could come down to who made the right calls when.”



Bowman on his approach to Saturday’s race at Bristol:

“I think we have a lot of momentum heading to Bristol (Motor Speedway) and our team is focused on making a championship run. Greg (Ives) and the team back at the shop have been building really fast No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaros and our pit crew has been firing on all cylinders. Getting a top-10 finish at Darlington Raceway and then a top-five finish at Kansas Speedway really puts our best foot forward this postseason.”



Ives on heading to Bristol for the first elimination race:

“We are in a good place heading into the elimination race at Bristol Motor Speedway – 30 points ahead of the cut line is nice but more is always good. Alex (Bowman) has done a great job the last couple of weeks, maximizing every opportunity and getting all the points we can. We are going to approach Bristol like we do every other weekend and try to maximize points.”



When we last visited Bristol in the spring, you fought hard to secure your first Top-10 of the season. What mindset do you bring as we head back there this weekend?

“For sure, when we raced on Bristol’s dirt configuration in the spring time, our No. 42 team put together a fantastic race. We were able to win our heat race, which gave us the track position that we needed to be in contention throughout the entire race. However, as we return this weekend, it’s going to be a completely different animal because nobody has any laps on this surface with the NextGen car. At the end of the day though, Bristol will always be Bristol in the sense that you need to survive all 500 laps to have a shot at a decent result. If we can unload our EG3 Technologies Chevy with speed right off the truck, I think we can have another solid showing.”



William Byron said you are the most dangerous driver in the playoffs and the driver to watch out for that might win it all. How does that make you feel?

“He said I’m the most dangerous in the playoffs? I get goosebumps by you saying that because I’ve been working really hard to do that. I’m the kind of guy where I like to do it that way. If you think about it – the year I won the (Xfinity) championship – not a lot of people would bet on me. I did and I won it. I like it that way. I like to be under the radar and not to make a lot of noise. Go out there and beat them, but quietly.”


What are the challenges of racing the Next Gen car on the concrete at Bristol for the first time?

“That’s a very good question. The only racetrack that we’ve been that is similar to Bristol – but not the same by any means – is Dover. Nobody really knows what to expect at Bristol. It’s a racetrack that is by itself. It’s completely different than anything else and it’s a tough place. With 20 minutes of practice; if you miss it during the week, you’re going to have a long weekend and a long 500 laps.



I love Bristol. It’s actually one of my favorite racetracks and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’m not really thinking about it too much once I’m in the race. But during the week, there are a lot of conversations about that. I think the preparation we do during the week is going to be important because nobody really knows what is going to work in Bristol, just because it’s so different than everything else that we’ve done.”


Are you satisfied with your season?

“Somebody asked me if I was happy and excited to be in the playoffs, and honestly it feels normal to me. This is not a surprise. I think the fun part is about to begin. The winning was a lot of fun. I proved to myself that I can do it. I knew I could do it, but now everybody knows as well. They do know that I can do it and my team can do it, and we have everything that it takes to get it done. Now we have to do it on a consistent basis. In the last two months, we’ve been extremely consistent.”


As a first time playoff driver, are you at a disadvantage going up against drivers who have already won a championship?

“I feel like those guys are already champions, they already know the feeling. So the advantage that they have mostly is mental, not so much physically in the car. But they already know what it feels like. I’ve had this feeling in the Xfinity Series, which is different. But at the same time, it’s the same thing, just multiple it by three or four. I think if we can stay calm, relax and continue to do exactly the same thing that we’ve been doing the last few months, we’re going to be in good shape.”



Enfinger’s thoughts on beginning this next round of the playoffs at Bristol:

“Honestly, our strategy for the other races in this round won’t matter until we get past Bristol. Jeff (Hensley, Crew Chief) and the rest of the No. 23 Champion Power Equipment team have put a lot of effort behind our chassis this week – it’s the same one that we raced at IRP with. So hopefully, that goes well for us, but you never know how it’s going to play out at that track. There are eight of us that want to go out there and lock ourselves into the championship, so it’s going to be a tough fight no doubt. We can’t really look past this race, because depending on how our race at Bristol goes to open this next round will determine our outlook moving forward.”



Wood’s thoughts on making his first truck start at Bristol:

“I’m excited to return to short track racing this weekend; I think Bristol is a track that provides us with an opportunity to have a solid night, but there is also an opportunity to showcase a lot of attrition. If we can just keep our nose clean and put ourselves in the right spot at the right time, it should hopefully allow for us to have a good finish which will help us build momentum for the final four races of the season. It will be a short trip up to Tennessee, and I’m excited to hit the high banks with my No. 24 Silverado RST.”