The Round of Eight for the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) will come to a close this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, with the checkered-flag in Saturday’s NXS Dead on Tools 250 and Sunday’s NCS Xfinity 500 determining the four drivers in each series that will compete for their respective championship titles. NASCAR’s oldest and shortest track on the circuit – the historic Martinsville Speedway has been a part of the playoff picture since the inception of the postseason format into the series in 2004, with this year marking its fourth consecutive season hosting the Round of Eight elimination race for both series.  


Team Chevy’s Kyle Larson and Sam Mayer each have a Round of Eight win in their respective series, already solidifying their chances to compete for a championship title. In NASCAR’s premier series, Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron sits in the best position of the six drivers looking for a championship berth – entering the series’ elimination race with a 30-point advantage over the playoff cutline. Of the three positions left up for grabs in the NXS Championship Four, the series’ regular-season champion Austin Hill is fourth in the standings and three-points above the playoff cutline.


·       Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway:

Famously known as “The Paperclip”, Martinsville Speedway is the only track that has hosted a NCS race every year since the inception of the series in 1949, with Sunday’s 500-lap event marking the series’ 150th appearance at the track. Chevrolet is the winningest manufacturer in NASCAR’s premier series at Martinsville Speedway, with Kyle Larson’s win in the series’ spring event delivering the Bowtie Brand its 60th all-time victory at the track – doubling the next ranking manufacturer competitor.


The first of Chevrolet’s series-leading wins at Martinsville Speedway came in 1957 when Buck Baker drove his Chevrolet 150 to victory lane. The Bowtie Brand went on a winning streak at the track on a couple of different occasions, including seven in a row from October 2004 to October 2007, as well as eight consecutive triumphs from April 2011 to October 2014.


Four of the series’ last six appearances at Martinsville Speedway saw a Hendrick Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet make its way to victory lane. The organization’s recent success at the track dates back to Chase Elliott’s victory in November 2020 – the first time the South Virginia short-track hosted the series’ Round of Eight elimination race. Elliott capitalized on a must-win situation to take the win and a berth into the title-deciding race – ultimately leading the Georgia native to his first career championship in NASCAR’s top division. Since then, each of Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates have tallied a win at the track with Alex Bowman (October 2021), William Byron (April 2022) and Kyle Larson (April 2023). 


Already earning a spot into the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Four, Team Chevy’s Kyle Larson can focus on executing a momentum-building weekend before heading into the season-finale at Phoenix Raceway. Despite an unfortunate ending to the team’s day at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team put on a championship-caliber performance through much of the day. The former series champion posted top-three finishes in each stage, including a win in Stage One – going on to lead a race-high 96-laps before an incident entering pit road during a green-flag pit cycle took the team out of the race.


Turning the page to Martinsville Speedway, the 31-year-old California native will return to the South Virginia venue as the series’ most recent winner at the track. In his five career starts at Martinsville Speedway since joining Hendrick Motorsports, Larson has tallied one win (April 2023), three top-five finishes and an average finish of 8.2 at the track. Two of Larson’s four points-paying wins this season have come on a short-track, with the driver also taking the win at Richmond Raceway in April. Larson also added a non-points paying short-track win to his name this season with his dominating performance in the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.


Looking for his first career bid into the NCS Championship Four, Team Chevy’s William Byron currently sits in the best position among the six playoff contenders left vying for the two remaining spots – with the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team heading into the Round of Eight elimination race with a 30-point cushion above the playoff cutline. The 25-year-old North Carolina native netted a fourth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend, bringing his postseason average finish to an impressive 5.5. Martinsville Speedway has been good to Byron in recent years, with the driver collecting one win, three top-five finishes, four top-10s and an average finish of 8.00 in his last five starts at the track.


A look at Team Chevy’s playoff contenders heading into the NASCAR Cup Series Round of Eight elimination race at Martinsville Speedway:  


Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 2nd in Playoff Standings; Clinched Championship Four position with his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Victories: 4

Poles: 2

Top-Fives: 14

Top-10s: 16

Laps Led: 1,127

Average Finish: 15.2

Stage Wins: 8


At Martinsville Speedway:      

Wins: 1

Top-Fives: 4

Top-10s: 5

Average Finish: 18.235


William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 – 3rd in Playoff Standings; 30-points above the cutline

Victories: 6

Poles: 3

Top-Fives: 14

Top-10s: 20

Laps Led: 921

Average Finish: 11.1

Stage Wins: 8



At Martinsville Speedway:  

Wins: 1

Top-Fives: 4

Top-10s: 6

Average Finish: 15.182



At Martinsville Speedway just one year ago, Team Chevy’s Ross Chastain made an iconic move that will forever be etched into NASCAR history. With one lap to go and on the outside looking in of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Four, Chastain pulled an unprecedented move now known as the “Hail Melon” – riding the wall of the final two corners to move from the 10th to the fifth position, passing Denny Hamlin at the line to take the fourth and final position in the series’ Championship Four. The move gave Chastain his first career opportunity to compete for the championship title in NASCAR’s premier series, with the Trackhouse Racing driver ultimately leading Chevrolet in the runner-up position of the final points standings.


To commemorate the one-year mark of the historic move, the actual No. 1 Moose Fraternity Camaro ZL1 that performed the “Hail Melon” will make its return to Martinsville Speedway this weekend as a part of the Chevrolet Racing Display. Fans at the South Virginia short-track will have the chance to relive history and get a first-hand look at Chastain’s Chevrolet-powered machine throughout the race weekend. 



In only his second full-time season in the series, JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer will make his first run at the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship title. The 20-year-old Wisconsin native collected the first guaranteed ticket into the series’ Championship Four after taking his No. 1 Camaro SS to the team’s fourth victory of the season. 


Mayer became a first-time winner in the series at Road America in July, with the JR Motorsports driver going on to score two more road course victories at Watkins Glen (August) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course earlier this month. Entering the second race of the Round of Eight below the playoff cutline, Mayer scored top-five points in both stages, going on to lead the last 30 circuits around Homestead-Miami Speedway to record his first career oval victory in the series. Mayer’s victory also clinched the series’ manufacturer championship title for Chevrolet with still two races remaining. The prestigious honor marks Chevrolet’s 25th – and seventh consecutive – Bill France Performance Cup in the NXS. 

NXS Playoff Update: 

Four Team Chevy NXS playoff contenders will vie for the three remaining positions in the series’ Championship Four. Of those entering the elimination race above the playoff cutline includes the series’ regular-season champion Austin Hill, who occupies the fourth position in the standings and three-points above the playoff cutline. 


Just shy of the top-four in the standings is JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier, who currently sits in the fifth position in the standings and three-points below the playoff cutline. Allgaier knows how to navigate postseason pressure with the series’ veteran being the only driver to make the NXS playoffs every season since the format was introduced to the series in 2016. In six career NXS starts at Martinsville Speedway, Allgaier has notched three top-five finishes – all of which have come in the series’ fall race at the track. 


Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith and Richard Childress Racing’s Sheldon Creed sit in the seventh and eighth positions, respectively in the playoff standings – both facing a must-win situation in order advance into the Championship Four. 


With the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Championship Four set, Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar and GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger will have the opportunity to compete for Chevrolet’s 15th NCTS Driver Championship title. 


Hocevar claimed his first career berth into the NCTS Championship Four after picking up the victory in the series’ Round of Eight elimination race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend. The 20-year-old Michigan native drove his No. 42 Silverado RST to the lead with 11 laps to go en route to his fourth victory of the season – a feat making him the winningest driver in the series this season. Hocevar also delivered Chevrolet its first championship title of the season, with the victory clinching Chevrolet’s 11th NCTS Manufacturer Championship.


Entering the series’ elimination race on the outside looking in, GMS Racing’s Enfinger channeled his veteran experience to point his way into the Championship Four after picking up a fourth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This season will mark the 38-year-old Alabama native’s second career appearance in the series’ Championship Four as the Team Chevy driver will look to deliver GMS Racing its third NCTS Driver Championship title in the organization’s final season of competition. 


NASCAR’s annual trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway saw Chevrolet already claim two championship titles – the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Manufacturer Championship and the 2023 Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.


Following Carson Hocevar’s win in the series’ Round of Eight elimination race at the 1.5-mile South Florida oval, Chevrolet clinched the 2023 NCTS Manufacturer Championship. Competing in the NCTS since the series’ inception in 1995, the Silverado claimed the manufacturer championship title in the series’ inaugural season, with the Bowtie Brand going on to win four-straight. This season marks Chevrolet’s 11th time earning the NCTS manufacturer championship title.


Chevrolet made its way back into Homestead-Miami Speedway’s victory lane later that afternoon, with JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer claiming the NXS victory and a ticket into the series’ Championship Four. The win also delivered Chevrolet the Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – marking the manufacturer’s 25th time receiving the prestigious title. The Chevrolet Camaro made its debut as the automaker’s flagship vehicle in the NXS in 2013, and has since earned nine titles in the series with 2023 marking its seventh consecutive title-winning season.


With the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championship still up for grabs, Chevrolet enters this weekend’s event at Martinsville Speedway with a 74-point lead in the manufacturer points standings. Capturing the 2023 NCS Manufacturer Championship would mark Chevrolet’s fifth time sweeping the manufacturer championship titles across all three NASCAR national series – a feat the manufacturer also accomplished in 2012, 2005, 1998 and 1996.



For the 13th consecutive year, Chevrolet has partnered with the American Cancer Society and its ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ initiative. The specially-themed pink Camaro ZL1 will serve as the official pace vehicle for three NASCAR Cup Series races during the month of October, including Sunday’s NCS Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. For every caution lap the pink Camaro ZL1 completes, Chevrolet will make a donation of $350 (up to $50,000) to the American Cancer Society to honor the ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ initiative.


The second of three NCS events that are part of the initiative took place at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend. With the pink Camaro ZL1 pace car leading NASCAR’s premier series for 35 laps under caution during last Sunday’s race, Chevrolet will contribute $12,250 towards the campaign, bringing the total to $18,900 with one race remaining in the campaign.


The pink Camaro ZL1 pace car will return to the track this weekend, serving as the pace car for the 500-lap/263-mile NCS Round of Eight elimination race at Martinsville Speedway – marking the third and final race of this year’s campaign.  


·       Chevrolet will pace the field in the doubleheader race weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The Camaro SS will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Saturday’s Dead on Tools 250; and the specially-themed pink ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ Camaro ZL1 will lead the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday’s Xfinity 500.


·       Active Chevrolet drivers with a NASCAR Cup Series win at Martinsville Speedway:

Kyle Busch – two wins (2016 & 2017)

Kyle Larson – one win (2023)

William Byron – one win (2022)

Chase Elliott – one win (2020)


·       In 149 NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, Chevrolet has recorded a series-best 60 wins – doubling the next ranking manufacturer competitor.


·       In 34 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (17), top-fives (74), top-10s (145), stage wins (25) and laps led (3,293).


·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with 17 victories in 34 NASCAR Cup Series races, 16 victories in 31 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and 13 wins in 22 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a winning percentage of at least 50 percent.  


·       Chevrolet’s series-leading 17 NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by seven drivers from five different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing), William Byron and Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports), Ross Chastain and Shane van Gisbergen (Trackhouse Racing) and AJ Allmendinger (Kaulig Racing).


·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded 25 of the 68 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (eight), Kyle Larson (eight), Ross Chastain (five), Kyle Busch (two) and Chase Elliott (two).


·       With Carson Hocevar’s win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Round of Eight elimination race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the 2023 NCTS Manufacturer Championship – the Bowtie Brand’s 11th time earning the manufacturer championship title in the series.


·       With Sam Mayer’s win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of Eight elimination race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the 2023 Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – the manufacturer’s 25th time earning the manufacturer championship title in the series.


·       Heading into the Martinsville Speedway, Chevrolet continues to sit atop the NASCAR Cup Series manufacturer points standings with a 74-point lead over its manufacturer competitors.


·       Chevrolet has swept the manufacturer championships across all three NASCAR national series in a single season four different times (2012, 2005, 1998, 1996).


·       With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships and 850 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history. 


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

·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles at the Team Chevy Racing Display.

·       Fans will also have a special viewing of Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Moose Fraternity Camaro ZL1 – the actual race car that performed the iconic move now known as the “Hail Melon” at Martinsville Speedway last year.     


Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Saturday, October 28

·       Jeremy Clements: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

·       Sam Mayer: 12:45 p.m. – 1 p.m.

·       Jeb Burton: 1 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

·       Sheldon Creed: 1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

·       Austin Hill: 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.


Sunday, October 29

·       Alex Bowman: 11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

·       Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

·       Carson Hocevar: 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

·       Ty Dillon: 11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:

·       Friday, October 27: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.  

·       Saturday, October 28: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

·       Sunday, October 29: 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  


NASCAR Cup Series: Xfinity 500

Round of Eight Elimination Race  

Sunday, October 29, at 2 p.m. ET

(NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)



NASCAR Xfinity Series: Dead on Tools 250

Round of Eight Elimination Race

Saturday, October 28, at 3:30 p.m. ET

(USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


Ross Chastain, No. 1 Moose Fraternity Camaro ZL1

Now that you look back on the “Hail Melon” move what do you think about it?

“It’s wild to think that it has been one year since the wall ride. Obviously, it was huge for my team because we got a chance to run for the championship in Phoenix but it ended up being a huge moment for our sport. Its wild how many people outside of racing saw it and the amount of attention it got. That’s great though. We brought more eyes to the sport of NASCAR and hopefully gained some new fans.”



Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1

Larson on racing at Martinsville Speedway:

“It’s obviously both comforting and exciting to know that the No. 5 team is locked into the Championship 4 by our Vegas (Motor Speedway) win. Martinsville (Speedway) had historically been a challenging track for me.. and transparently not a favorite. April of this season, our team was able to help change that. Securing my first win at the Virginia short-track was super rewarding. Our team is always actively trying to build consistency, so really focusing on another solid weekend in Martinsville would help us build a good mindset to tackle the Championship at Phoenix (Raceway).”



Cliff Daniels, Crew Chief, No. 5 Camaro ZL1

Daniels on racing at Martinsville Speedway:

“We certainly enjoy going to Martinsville (Speedway). It’s a track I’ve gone to since I was a kid and it’s also just a tough track in general. I know Kyle (Larson) doesn’t give himself the credit he deserves coming to Martinsville (Speedway) and he has come a long way. We’ve had some strong runs there lately but would recognize the fact that you’ve got to be sharp- on your set up, balance and approach to the race. We’ve got to do the things we can do to make sure Kyle (Larson) is comfortable making speed with. We have all of those things on our minds. We want to perform at a very high level and keep our strength at a high level to keep us operating at the level that we need to going into Phoenix.”



Kyle Busch, No. 8 BetMGM Camaro ZL1

Do you think that Martinsville is the most challenging short track on the schedule? How physically and mentally demanding is racing at Martinsville?

“Martinsville is a challenging short track. I think with the Next Gen race car it’s become a bigger challenge just with the fact that everybody being a lot closer. Little setup differences with the old car meant an awful lot in speed and it seems like little setup differences with this car doesn’t really mean a whole lot so everybody runs the same speed no matter what so it just makes it tough to pass. Track position is everything. The aero affects when you get behind guys makes it tough to move around and find grip in other grooves in order to make moves. It seemed like with the old car you could definitely follow a lot better and keep yourself closer to the guy in front of you so if he made a little, tiny mistake you could pounce on that and make a pass.


The racing there is pretty demanding. I mean, you’re on the brakes all the time and steering all the time. You’re trying to feel that grip and not slip. You want to carry your speed as fast as you can while off the gas. The biggest thing that I learned that made me better at Martinsville is how fast can you go slow. You actually spend more of the lap off the throttle than you do on the throttle so it’s about figuring out how to go slow fast.” 


How important is it to qualify well at Martinsville, not only for track position to start the race but also regarding pit selection?

“Qualifying well at Martinsville I think now is more important than what it once was. I remember it used to be that it didn’t matter how you qualified. I was never a really good qualifier at Martinsville but you could always race towards the front, pick up some positions on pit road, and get yourself in a good position for the end of the race. I think track position and pit selection with qualifying well is very important. There’s four to five really, really good pit stalls on pit road and if you can get one of those pit stalls then that can really make or break your day on pit road.”



AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1

“Martinsville is completely different now with this car and how much we shift. Our short track program has been a bit of a struggle, but I felt like the first race there we at least made a lot of gains. I think we can go back there and have more speed than we have had in the past. I’ve always loved this race. It’s definitely different now but it’s just a fun racetrack to go to. Short tracks are our weak point, but we are getting better. I am really looking forward to getting to Martinsville and trying to build off of everything we have learned this year.”



Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1

Martinsville hot dogs or shifting at short tracks, which are you more a fan of?

“I’m a fan of Martinsville hot dogs, but I probably need to be more of a fan of eating them post-race though. I ate some before the race when we had a rain delay last year. Ross (Chastain) and I didn’t think we were going to race so we started ‘pounding dogs’ and all of the sudden they told us we were going to go racing and we just looked at each other and said, ‘oh no’. I’m excited to get back there though, because it’s always been a fun racetrack with the trucks. I don’t know if I’m going to be a fan of shifting at short tracks; it just seems like there’s a bunch going on, but I’ve never done it before so I can’t say yes or no yet. Hopefully we can qualify up front for the race with our Sunseeker Resort Chevy, because that’s going to be the key for sure. It’ll be good to hop back in the No. 42 car to finish out the year with these last two races for LEGACY M.C.!”



Erik Jones, No. 43 LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Camaro ZL1

“Martinsville is always a crazy race this time of year, with it being a cutoff for the playoff guys, and going into Phoenix, there is a lot of chaos that normally happens in Martinsville. I feel like we have improved our short package, in general, going into Martinsville, so hopefully we can go there and have a solid day.”



Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Reese’s Camaro ZL1

“In the spring, we left Martinsville with my best finish there. We got pinned a lap down when we pitted under green and an untimely caution occurred. We were able to capitalize on a late-race strategy that placed us back on the lead lap with about 60 laps to go. We got into a rhythm and were able to hold on for a top-10 finish. We’re ready to get back to Martinsville with our No. 47 Kroger / Reese’s Camaro and apply what we learned in April.”  

Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics


Manufacturers Championships:

Total (1949-2022): 41

First title for Chevrolet: 1958

Highest number of consecutive titles: 13 (2003-15)


Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, 2022


Drivers Championships:

Total (1949-2021): 33

First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)

Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)

Most Recent: Kyle Larson (2021)


Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2021


Event Victories:

Record for total race wins in single season: 26 (2007)               


2023 STATISTICS:                                                                                                    

Wins: 17

Poles: 8

Laps Led: 3,293

Top-five finishes: 74

Top-10 finishes: 145

Stage wins: 25

·       Ross Chastain – 5 (Daytona), (Auto Club x2), (Dover), (Darlington)

·       William Byron – 8 (Las Vegas x2), (Phoenix), (COTA), (Richmond), (Dover), (Charlotte), (Watkins Glen)

·       Kyle Larson – 8 (Phoenix), (Bristol Dirt), (Pocono), (Kansas), (Texas), (Las Vegas x2), (Homestead)

·       Chase Elliott – 2 (Talladega), (Charlotte RC)

·       Kyle Busch – 2 (WWTR), (Sonoma)




Total Chevrolet race wins: 850 (1949 to date)

Poles won to date: 742

Laps led to date: 248,837

Top-five finishes to date: 4,295

Top-10 finishes to date: 8,857


Total NASCAR Cup Wins by Corporation, 1949 to Date:


           General Motors: 1,184

           Chevrolet: 850

           Pontiac: 154

           Oldsmobile: 115

           Buick: 65


           Ford: 827                                                           

           Ford: 727

           Mercury: 96

           Lincoln: 4


           Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467

           Dodge: 217

           Plymouth: 191

           Chrysler: 59


           Toyota: 180