- Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Elliott win and advance to Round of 8 while Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Bowyer and Almirola are eliminated
- Five of eight drivers on a quest for second NASCAR Cup Series title
- Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will be eighth of 10-race run to crown season champion
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 12, 2020) – The stage is now set for the eight drivers still in competition for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship when the series returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the Oct. 25 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.
In the now-completed Round of 12, Kurt Busch, facing elimination in the point standings, earned the surprise hometown victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 27) to move on to the Round of 8. Denny Hamlin took the lead off turn four in the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 4) to lock in his spot. And on Oct. 11 on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott earned his fourth consecutive road course victory to seal his position in the next round.
Kevin Harvick, who on Oct. 25 will be going for his fourth consecutive Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 victory at Texas Motor Speedway, remains the point leader, with Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Elliot filling out the top four.
The four drivers eliminated were two-time and defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 9th in points), 2020 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 winner Austin Dillon (No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 10th in points), Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, 13th in points) who last week announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season, and Aric Almirola (No. 10 Stewart-Haas Ford, 14th in points).
Harvick (2014), Keselowski (2012), Logano (2018), Truex (2017), and Kurt Busch (2004) are each in the hunt for a second NASCAR Cup Series championship.
If Kurt Busch were to claim the title, it would be the longest time between series championships — 16 seasons. The current record is held by “Texas Terry” Labonte, who earned championships in 1984 and 1996.
The full list of drivers moving on to the Round of 8 are:
Kevin Harvick / No. 4 Stewart-Haas Ford / 4,067 points
Denny Hamlin / No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota / 4,054
Brad Keselowski / No. 2 Team Penske Ford / 4,035
Chase Elliott / No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet / 4,027
Joey Logano / No. 22 Team Penske Ford / 4,022
Martin Truex, Jr. / No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota / 4,017
Alex Bowman / No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet / 4,009
Kurt Busch / No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet / 4,006
The balance of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule is:
Oct. 18 / Kansas Speedway / Round of 8
Oct. 25 / Texas Motor Speedway / Round of 8
Nov. 1 / Martinsville Speedway / Round of 8 (elimination)
Nov. 8 / Phoenix Raceway / Championship 4
Tickets for the Oct. 25 NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series SpeedyCash.com 400 doubleheader are available starting at $48 at EventPage. Tickets for kids 12 and under are just $10. Further details can be found on the Texas Motor Speedway website.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. CT on NBCSN, PRN, KFWR 95.5 The Ranch), the fifth of seven races of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs, will be run as a non-spectator event.
Click https://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/events/2020-event-return-guide/ for a comprehensive list of answers to frequently asked questions about the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500/SpeedyCash.com 400 doubleheader.
Tickets for Texas Motor Speedway’s 25th major event season in 2021 on are sale now at https://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/nascar-indycar-tickets/.
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