One final opportunity lies ahead for the remaining NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) playoff hopefuls to secure a berth into the Championship 4. For the third consecutive season, Martinsville Speedway will host the penultimate race of the playoffs for both series.  


The .526-mile Virginia venue took over the post-season position as the Round of 8 elimination race in 2020. Entering the 2020 event below the cutline, Chase Elliott powered his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory lane, taking the prestigious grandfather clock and a ticket to the Championship 4 that ultimately led him to his first career championship title in NASCAR’s premier series.


Chevrolet has amassed a series-leading 59 NCS victories at Martinsville, most recently by Chevrolet playoff contender William Byron (April 2022), who lead a race-high 212 laps en route to the triumph to become the series’ first repeat winner of the season. The 24-year-old North Carolina native visited victory lane twice that weekend, also capturing the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race behind the wheel of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Silverado RST. Byron is heading into the playoff elimination race weekend looking to not only make it back-to-back trips to victory lane at Martinsville, but to grab a bid to the Championship 4 for the first time in his NCS career.


Heading into the final race of the Round of 8, all three of Chevrolet’s playoff drivers sit above the playoff cutline. After back-to-back runner-up finishes, Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain maintained the second position in the standings, now with a 19-point advantage over the cutline. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron collected top-10 finishes in both stages at Homestead, earning valuable stage points to help put them above the cutline in the third- and fourth-positions, respectively, in the standings.


A look at where the Team Chevy NCS playoff drivers stand heading into the Round of 8 elimination race, including season numbers and career stats at Martinsville Speedway:    

Ross Chastain, No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 – 2nd in Playoff Standings (19-points above cutline)

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 13 (series-leading)

Top-10s: 19 (series-leading)

Laps Led: 692

Stage Wins: 6

Average Finish: 13.8


At Martinsville Speedway:  

Top-Fives: 1; Top-10s: 1

Average Finish: 24.286


Of Note:

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

– Chastain posted top-five finishes earlier this season at two tracks in the Round of Eight, including Martinsville Speedway (5th).

– In seven of the eight 2022 NCS playoff races thus far, Chastain has finished in the top-13, including back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Round of 8.




Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 3rd in Playoff Standings (11-points above cutline)

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion

Victories: 5 (series-leading)

Top-Fives: 12;

Top-10s: 19; (series-leading)

Laps Led: 803

Stage Wins: 6

Average Finish: 12.1



At Martinsville Speedway:   

Victories: 1

Pole Wins: 1

Top-Fives: 5; Top-10s: 8

Average Finish: 13.429


Of Note:

– 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.

– Elliott is one of just two former NCS champions that makeup the 2022 NCS Playoffs Round of 8.

– Elliott’s one career NCS victory at Martinsville Speedway came in the series’ Round of 8 elimination race in 2020; a victory that led to his first career NCS championship title. 


William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 4th in Playoff Standings (5-points above the cutline)

Victories: 2

Top-Fives: 5

Top-10s: 9

Laps Led: 746

Stage Wins: 4

Average Finish: 16.1




At Martinsville Speedway:   

Victories: 1

Top-Fives: 4; Top-10s: 5

Average Finish: 15.111


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 points standings.

– Byron is the series’ most recent winner at Martinsville Speedway (April 2022), while also having collected three consecutive top-five finishes at the Virginia short track.  



While he may not be contending for a back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championship, Kyle Larson piloted his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 to the victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway, ultimately locking-in the team’s spot to compete for the owner’s championship title. Team owner, Rick Hendrick, has collected 14 owner’s championship titles in NASCAR’s premier series, all of which have been recorded behind the wheel of a Chevrolet.



Larson’s third win of the 2022 season came after a dominating performance at the 1.5-mile South Florida oval; sweeping the stage wins and leading a race-high 199 of 267 laps on his way to the victory. His triumph extended Chevrolet’s series-leading win record to 19 wins in 34 NCS races, matching the manufacturer’s win count from the previous season with still two races remaining.


Larson led a string of Chevrolet drivers to the checkered flag at Homestead, with Ross Chastain (2nd), AJ Allmendinger (3rd) and Austin Dillon (4th) giving the Bowtie brand a sweep of the top-four finishing positions.. a feat that was performed from drivers from four different Chevrolet teams. This accomplishment marks Chevrolet’s third time sweeping the top-four finishing positions this season (Auto Club Speedway, Road America and Homestead-Miami Speedway); and the manufacturer’s 10th time placing four drivers in the top-five in a single race in 2022.




JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson added onto an already career-season, collecting his series-leading eighth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of 2022 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In dominating fashion, the 24-year-old driver powered his No. 9 Camaro SS to a sweep of the stage wins and led a race-high 127 of 200 laps en route to an automatic berth into the series’ Championship 4 for the second consecutive season. Gragson’s victory marked Chevrolet’s 24th win in 31 NCS races, while also extending the manufacturer’s current win streak to 10 in a row.  


Gragson is the second Chevrolet driver to lock-in a spot in the Championship 4. Gragson’s JR Motorsports teammate, Josh Berry, already punched his ticket into the Championship 4 after driving his No. 8 Camaro SS to the victory in the series’ opening race of the Round of 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Berry’s victory – Chevrolet’s 500th all-time NXS win – also clinched Chevrolet’s series-leading 24th NXS Manufacturer’s Championship. 



Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Dead On Tools 250 will determine the final two drivers that will join Noah Gragson and Josh Berry in the battle for the 2022 NXS Driver’s Championship.



Entering the playoff elimination race weekend at Martinsville, the series’ regular-season champion, AJ Allmendinger, is ranked fourth in the standings and five-points above the cutline. Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill and Sam Mayer sit in the fifth- through seventh-positions in the standings, respectively, but still within reach of the opportunity to either point or win their way into a spot in the Championship 4.



Chevrolet’s most recent NXS victory at the .526-mile Virginia venue came in last season’s Round of 8 elimination race. Entering the race weekend in a “must-win” scenario, Gragson was able to power his No. 9 Camaro SS team to a walk-off win in an overtime finish to clinch a spot in the Championship 4.  



Chevrolet’s partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and its “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” initiative marks its 12th consecutive year in 2022. Proudly carrying the ACS logo, for every lap the specialty-themed pink Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE pace car leads NASCAR’s premier series under caution during three select races in October, Chevrolet will donate $350 to the American Cancer Society to honor “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.”


The second of three NASCAR Cup Series events that are part of the initiative took place at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past weekend. With the pink Camaro pace car leading the NCS for 30 laps under caution during Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400, Chevrolet will contribute $10,500 towards the campaign, bringing the total to $19,250 with one race remaining in the campaign.


The pink Camaro pace car will return to the track this weekend, serving as the pace car for the 500-lap/263-mile NCS playoff race at Martinsville Speedway as the third and final race of this year’s campaign.  


·       Victories by active Chevrolet drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway:

    William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (2022)

    Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (2021)

    Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (2020)


·       In 147 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Martinsville Speedway, Chevrolet has recorded a series-leading 59 victories, including the series’ most recent appearance at the .526-mile Virginia short track in April 2022, recorded by Chevrolet playoff contender William Byron.





·       Chase Elliott recorded the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 elimination race win at Martinsville Speedway in 2020.. a victory that led to his first career championship title.





·       Ross Chastain has recorded runner-up finishes in both of the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 races. Chastain will enter the elimination race weekend second in points, 19-points above the cutline, in his first career NCS playoff appearance.





·       Kyle Larson’s victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway delivered Chevrolet its 19th NASCAR Cup Series win in 34 points-paying races this season, more than its manufacturer competitors combined. The Bowtie brand also continues to lead its manufacturer competitors in top-fives (80), top-10s (150), laps led (4,084) and stage wins (28).


·       Chevrolet drivers swept the top-four finishing positions in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway; a feat recorded by drivers from four different Chevrolet teams. This marks the third time the Bowtie brand has swept the top-four finishing positions this season; and the 10th time Chevrolet has placed four drivers in the top-five in a single race in 2022.


·       Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 28 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:

    Tyler Reddick 2 – Fontana x2

    Alex Bowman 1 – Las Vegas, Kansas

    Ross Chastain 6 – Las Vegas, Darlington, Charlotte, Pocono, Richmond, ROVAL

    William Byron 4 – Phoenix, Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington

    Daniel Suarez 2 – COTA, Charlotte

    Chase Elliott 6 – Martinsville x2, Charlotte, Atlanta x2, Talladega

    Kyle Larson 6 – Bristol, Sonoma, Pocono, Texas, Homesteadx2


·       JR Motorsports has gone two-for-two in race wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 8, with Noah Gragson recording his series-leading eighth NXS win of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gragson joins teammate, Josh Berry, as the second Chevrolet driver to already clinch a spot in the Championship 4.


·       Following Josh Berry’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Chevrolet’s 500th all-time NXS victory – Chevrolet clinched its series-leading 24th NXS Manufacturer’s Championship. This marks the eighth title for the Camaro SS since becoming Chevrolet’s flagship vehicle in the series in 2013, including the past six consecutive years.



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

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

·       At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Camaro ZL1 show car.


Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Sunday, October 30

·       Erik Jones: 10:25 a.m.

·       William Byron: 11:00 a.m.

·       Daniel Suarez: 11:15 a.m.

·       Noah Gragson : 11:50 a.m.


Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:  

Friday, October 28: 12 pm – 5:30pm

Saturday, October 29: 9 am – 3:30pm

Sunday, October 30: 9 am – 2:30pm


Tune In:

NBC will broadcast the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 30. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


NBC will broadcast the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dead On Tools 250 at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 29. Live coverage can also be found on the NBCSports Gold App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.



What are your thoughts on Martinsville being the final race before the Championship race?

“When NASCAR decided on the schedule, it was no accident that Martinsville was going to be the race to get into the Championship 4. We’ve seen year over year, it produces some crazy races. I don’t expect anything different. It’s another place that I am looking for a little bit of speed at. It was challenging to pass in the spring, but we were a car that went from around 27th and drove to fifth, but it took me all race to get there. It’s been high on my list to be better there. We tested there and I am still looking for more speed.”


What do you think about Martinsville this weekend?

“I want to qualify better there this weekend than I did last time. I had us starting pretty deep in the field and it takes a long time to get towards the front of the field there.”


It seems you’re getting everything you can out of the racecar right now and really maximizing its potential.

“Yeah, I’m so proud of the effort of this team and the execution of pit stops. The guys are doing a great job on pit road. We’re checking the boxes and doing what you need to do to run in the Cup Series and put ourselves in contention for wins. The points will stack as up they do.”



Larson on the team’s test at Martinsville Speedway in August:

“It’s always good when you can get track time and can work on your car. Martinsville (Speedway) is my worst race track – I just don’t have a good feel for it. Anytime I can get more laps it helps me get into a better rhythm. For me and the type of racing I did growing up, the speed in the middle of the corner at Martinsville is so slow. I am used to trying to roll a corner as fast as possible in a sprint car or a midget or even now a dirt late model. That’s not the case at Martinsville. Usually, the driver going the slowest in the corner is turning the quick laps.”



Daniels on the August test and what he expects this weekend:

“Martinsville (Speedway) is certainly its own beast and a unique track. I grew up a couple hours away from it and I love the track. I’ve raced there (as a driver) in a late model and I’ve always enjoyed going there with a Cup (Series) car. We had a good test (in August). Kyle says he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in himself at Martinsville, but we’ve run really well with him and I have seen a lot of good things from him there. I’m cautiously optimistic about this weekend. It should be fun and exciting.”



Elliott on racing at Martinsville this weekend:

“The Martinsville (Speedway) race in the spring was different than any Martinsville race I’ve ever really been a part of in the past. It was the craziest thing. You couldn’t pass. It was wild to be going that slow and to have a track position race like that. I’m sure it’s going to be more of that (this weekend), and look, that’s fine. It is what it is, right? As competitors, you have to figure out how to be successful in whatever environment is thrown at you, and I think that’s what we’re going to have there. I think a good qualifying effort is going to be really important in how your day’s going to unfold and how much opportunity you’re going to have. Hopefully we can just get it right all weekend because you’re going to have to be on from the beginning. There’s going to be no catching up.”



Gustafson on heading into the final race of the Round of 8:

“The strategy, ultimately, is no different than any other week. You try to score as many points as you can and you try to win the race, but obviously the sense of urgency is going to be much higher because you need to advance through this race. That means it’s all or nothing. So yeah, the strategy won’t be any different, but the sense of urgency will be really elevated and it will be the same for everybody besides Joey (Logano). No one else is in a really safe spot, so I think that is really going to generate some interesting situations.”



Byron on how he will approach Sunday’s race at Martinsville:

“I think there’s a little we can apply this weekend from our win there in April. We had a good test at Martinsville (Speedway) a couple months ago that helped us be able to refine some things since we’ve raced there last. This weekend is going to be a bigger challenge, though, than usual given it’s the final playoff cutoff race. Everyone will be bringing their ‘A game’ and everything they’ve got. We just need to approach it how we have been so far. You can’t go in thinking about points because that (the points situation) changes every lap. You have to go in with the mindset of needing to win, and that’s what we will do this weekend to hopefully ensure our spot in the final four.”



Fugle on preparing for Martinsville:

“A lot has changed since the last time we raced at Martinsville (Speedway) but having the test a few months ago is really going to help us prepare for this weekend. We’re using a new tire than we did in the April race. We tested with it, so at least we have some idea of what falloff will look like, but there’s still some unknowns until you’re running 80 to 90 laps at a time in race conditions. This race is longer than the spring was as well, so that changes your strategy some. We saw in April that track position was a major key, and I think that will be the same this time. We need to have a good Saturday to really set us up well for Sunday and to hopefully maximize points and contend for the win.”



“Every driver loves coming up to Martinsville! Growing up about an hour away from there, I have plenty of vivid memories going to the races with my family as a kid. We had a great run with our No. 42 team at Richmond, and I feel like our short track program continues to improve every time we hit the track. This weekend will be so cool for us to represent all the cadets in the US Space Force on our Camaro, I love the design and am very thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully we can avoid the typical short track carnage and come away with a solid finishing result that our guys deserve!”



“Martinsville is another place that we tested a month or two ago and I felt like we learned a ton at that test that got ourselves and our car a lot better there than we were for the Spring race. I’m excited, Martinsville is always a place I’m trying to improve on. It’s definitely been, I’d say as far as tracks we go to in the Cup Series or any NASCAR Series, it’s probably been my toughest track. Just trying to continue to get better there as a driver and continuing to try to learn. I think overall what we learned at the test will pay off. Hopefully we have made the right changes and can go into it with a good race car and can have a good run. We ran top 10 last fall, which was really strong for us, so hopefully we can have a similar, if not a little better, run.”



Ives on heading to Martinsville as the defending the race winners:

“Martinsville Speedway is a place where we have had success in the past. We won the fall race last year, and this season we are in a very different position but with the same goal – go maximize our race and compete for a win. Noah (Gragson) is still in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s race, and we will support him this weekend like we have since he stepped up to fill in for Alex (Bowman). We just have to stay focused on what’s in front of us and right now, and that’s Martinsville.”



How would you rank the success this year and did you see this coming last year?

“I think that the season has been good. It’s tough, because as a race car driver, I am very greedy. If I don’t win the championship, I wouldn’t say that it is a perfect season. With that being said, I feel that it was a huge step from the first year of Trackhouse to the second year of Trackhouse. Right now, I feel like we are working hard to build up our house, and we have done that. I feel like the 99 team has a lot of things still to prove. And for me, with how we are running, I know that there is potential for more, and that is very exciting.

I am very happy with where I am, I am very happy with Trackhouse, and the 99 team. I have an amazing team and we are going to continue to fight. I wish I was still in the playoffs and fighting for a championship, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us. But we have the speed and honestly everything to give these guys a fight. We are going to continue to do that and close this season as strong as possible so we can start building momentum for next year.”