Written By Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina
After an interesting weekend in Roval, which led up to the elimination of four playoff drivers from the round of 12, the first race of the round of 8 will be held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Who can start the round by taking a win in Las Vegas?
Roval 400 Race Debrief
In the final race of the round of 12, 41-year-old AJ Allmendinger took his and Kaulig Racing’s first win since Indianapolis 2021. He led a whopping 46 laps of the 109 laps available, while fending off a charging William Byron and Kyle Busch.
After the race, it is confirmed that Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski are all eliminated. Chastain and Keselowski were stuck in the midfield, hence unable to move up the field, while Wallace was involved in an unlucky incident that sent him to the back and led to a finish at 16th place.
On the other hand, Tyler Reddick was able to escape elimination after scoring 48 points and finishing sixth place. At the end, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney all advanced to the round of 8.
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is located in Clark County, Nevada. The track is a 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) long tri-oval, with 20 degree bankings on both turns. The drivers will run 267 laps around the track, with 80 laps each in stages one and two, and 107 laps for the final stage.
The race has only been held during the playoffs for five times, and 2023 will mark the sixth time the NASCAR field visits Las Vegas for the playoffs. In recent times, this track has been a battlefield between the Fords and the Chevrolets, and it seems like Chevrolets have the upperhand in 2023.
William Byron won the regular season race in Las Vegas earlier this season, while teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman claimed second and third respectively, showing total dominance. However, if the Chevrolets want to win another race in Las Vegas, they need to be wary of the Toyotas, who had really good performances in intermediate tracks.
The race will be held on October 15th, Sunday, at 14:30 ET (11:30 PT, 20:30 CEST). Weather report shows that there will be clear skies, but temperatures will reach up to 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius), so it might be a grueling race for the drivers.
As previously mentioned, Chevrolet has been the best car in Vegas recently, winning four out of the last six races held in Vegas. They will be looking to send either Larson or Byron to victory lane, as the winner of the round of 8 will have the most time to prepare for Phoenix. They currently hold the best and the second best odds respectively, and with the experience and momentum, they could win big in Vegas.
However, the presence of the Toyotas will make Chevrolets’ day much tougher. They currently have four drivers in the round of 8, and they are some of the best intermediate track drivers. Truex Jr. and Hamlin are both extremely experienced, as they have won in Vegas twice and once respectively. They will be looking to secure a win here to further their championship odds.