NASCAR is back in its own backyard this weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) hits the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second time ever. The opening round of the NASCAR Playoffs also conclude on Sunday with Ryan Newman sitting ninth in points, 14 points to the good.
Five Chevrolet drivers qualified for the 10-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs that will determine the champion. Heading into Round 3, a look at their start/finish at Richmond Raceway and start/finish in the 2018 Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course race in the Playoffs:
Chase Elliott on the changes to the "roval" this year: “With the course changing from last year, I think it’s going to make us all slow down a bit more just from how it looks to me. I think we will have to slow down heading into the new chicane and treat it like a corner. We are just gonna get there and give it a shot and try to be solid.”
“Obviously, I'm excited to race at the ROVAL this weekend. I always enjoy going to a road course, but this one is certainly different from Watkins Glen and Sonoma in that there's very little room for error. If something happens or you make a mistake at Sonoma, you can go off course, but there's less opportunity to do that here. We had some good speed in this race last year, and I'm looking forward to putting on a good show in our No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang."
Road-course races make up a relatively small part of the Monster Energy Cup Series schedule, but when Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team take the green flag for the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway it will be the team’s 100th Cup start on a road course.
Charlotte (Bank of America ROVAL 400) Preview: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will come home to North Carolina for the third race of the Playoffs and the final event in the Round of 16. Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the series on its “Roval” (road course and oval hybrid) course on Sunday, Sept. 29. Denny hopes to keep his momentum going as he moves into fifth in overall points.
Leavine Family Racing announced earlier today that Christopher Bell will drive the No. 95 Toyota Camry in the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Bell, Leavine Family Racing’s founding owner, Bob Leavine, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD, U.S.A.) president, David Wilson, spoke with media on a teleconference.
DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: With the ROVAL’s debut in 2018’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, DiBenedetto started the event from 28th and drove to a 13th-place finish. The 2019 season road course events have been some of DiBenedetto’s best races of the year with him earning a fourth-place finish at Sonoma Raceway in June (a career-best finish at the time) while Watkins Glen International say DiBenedetto finish sixth in August.