The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway is again the site of an elimination race when the NASCAR Cup Series takes to the unique road course for the Band of America Roval 400.
The race on the Roval is the final race in round two of the playoffs. By the end of the race, four more drivers will be eliminated from the playoffs.
Like the Xfinity Series on Saturday, the weather is expected to be rather nasty. While NASCAR does not race in the rain on the oval courses; they will race in the rain on the road courses. Remnants of Hurricane Delta dropped a deluge on the course Saturday that caused a red flag condition while crews attempted to push some of the water away from the racing course.
In the case of rain, teams will have four sets of special rain tires in the pits. NASCAR officials will determine before the start of the race whether the track is dry, damp, or wet and it is at that point that the teams will determine how they wish to proceed with slicks or rain tires. For west weather conditions the cars must have a windshield wiper installed and a flashing red light at the back of the car; there is also the option of having a defogger inside of the car to aid in visibility.
NBC Sports broadcaster Jeff Burton points out that the Cup Series has not run a race in the rain since the early days of NASCAR in the 50’s.
With no practice time on the tricky road course, the drivers face a big challenge that gets even bigger if they must also battle the weather.
After his photo finish win last week at Talladega, Denny Hamlin wins the pole for the race with Chase Elliott starting alongside on the front row.
The starting lineup for the Bank of America Roval 400:
Martin Truex Jr
John Hunter Nemechek
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Though not packed, there are fans in the stands to cheer on their favourite drivers.
Stages one and two of the race are just 25 laps each with stage three lasting 59 laps for a total of 109 laps around the two plus mile course.
Though the sky is dry, the track is wet and for the first time in the history of the NASCAR Cup, the drivers will begin the race on the treaded wet weather tires.
As drivers work their way off of pit road, crews are pushing the number 20 car trying to get the car started with an electrical issue. Once the engine is fired, crew members are not allowed in the cars; one of the 20 car crew members jumped into Erik Jones’ car to check things out. As a result, Jones will have to start the race from the back of the field.
Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and edges out Chase Elliott for the lead with Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski battling for second.
Brad Keselowski battles Denny Hamlin for the lead with Keselowski taking the lead.
Lap two the top five are Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano.
Lap two and Michael McDowell has moved up 10 spots on the track.
Lap three, Brad Keselowski has a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin with Chase Elliott in third.
Lap three, Chase Elliott takes second from Denny Hamlin.
Ty Dillon has worked his way into the top five on lap four.
Brad Keselowski has a lead of nearly two seconds on Chase Elliott with Denny Hamlin in third; Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon round out the top five.
Lap five, after starting the race from the back of the field, Erik Jones has moved up to 24th place.
Ty Dillon has taken third place from Denny Hamlin.
Lap five, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Ty Dillon, and Joey Logano.
Lap seven, Brad Keselwoski has a half second lead on Chase Elliott with Martin Truex Jr in thirs with all 38 drivers on the lead lap.
Chase Elliott battles Brad Keselowski for the lead. Elliott takes the lead on lap eight.
Lap eight, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brad Keselowski; with Martin Truex Jr on his bumper.
Martin Truex Jr takes second from Brad Keselowski.
Lap nine, the top five are Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, and Ty Dillon.
Clint Bowyer takes third from Brad Keselowski.
NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 10.
NASCAR puts out the yellow flag for the competition caution at the end of lap 10. Drivers have the option of coming down pit road to take fuel, change tires, and make adjustments.
Some of the drivers come down pit road for service including a tire change. Reports are that Ty Dillon changed to the slick dry tires.
Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with Martin Truex Jr alongside with Truex taking the lead.
Lap 13, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.
Clint Bowyer battle Martin Truex Jr for the lead. Bowyer is the new leader.
Lap 14, the Busch brothers have gotten around Brad Keselowski to take fourth and fifith.
Only three days after announcing that this will be his final season, Clint Bowyer has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr; Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.
Running on slick tires, Ryan Newman loses traction and spins out but the track stays green.
As the track continues to dry, the drivers consistently increase the speeds around the track.
Lap 16, Clint Bowyer ahs increased his lead to over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr with Chase Elliott in third. All 38 cars are still on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick came down pit road during the caution flag to change tires, but he kept the rain tires. His team reports that that right front tire was blistering as the rain tires begin to break down in the heat.
Some of the teams are making green flag pits stops to change to the dry tires.
Lap 18, Clint Bowyer continues to lead the race with Martin Truex Jr in second; Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.
Lap 19, Kurt Busch takes third from Chase Elliott.
On the slick dry tires, Ty Dillon takes third place from Kurt Busch with Clint Bowyer in the lead.
Drivers continue to make green flag pit stops to change from wet to dry tires. Pit reporters reveal that the wet tires coming off of the cars are destroyed.
Lap 21, Ty Dillon is challenging Clint Bowyer for the lead. New leader, Ty Dillon has taken the lead and is pulling away fast.
Lap 22, Denny Hamlin gets off of the track but manages to get back and the track stays green.
More drivers come down pit road for dry weather tires.
Ty Dillon has pulled out to a leaven seconds on Clint Bowyer.
John Hunter Nemechek has gotten off the track and is stuck in the grass and brings out the caution flag on lap 23. Nemechek finally gets his car unstuck and back on the track.
The remainder of the drivers who were running on wet tires come down pit road for slicks. Kurt Busch was the only driver who did not come down pit road to change his tires.
The race will restart with just one lap remaining in stage one. Ty Dillon brings the field down for a one lap shootout and jumps out in front for the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second.
Christopher Bell takes second with Timmy Hill in third.
Ty Dillon wins stage one for his third stage win of the season with a top 10 that includes only one of the 12 playoff drivers.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kevin Harvick had an extended pit stop after the crew had to make some damage repairs.
Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Matt DiBenedetto alongside. Bell takes the lead with William Byron in second and Matt DiBenedetto in third.
Lap 29, with the sun peeking out, Christopher Bell leads the race; William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, and Joey Logano rounding out the top five.
Lap 30, William Byron battle Christopher Bell for the lead with Bryon taking the top spot.
Byron takes the corner hot and gets off the track but manages to not only get back on the track, but holds on to the lead.
Kevin Harvick has clinched a spot in the next round of the playoffs and will join race winners Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch in the round of eight.
William Byron continues to lead the race with a lead of nearly two second on Christopher Bell.
Lap 34, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Matt DiBenedetto get stopped on the track but get moving again and the track stays green. Dale Earnhardt Jr joked that the guys were pulling over to watch a movie on the big screen.
Lap 35, William Byron has a lead of over two seconds on Christopher Bell with Joey Logano in third.
Christopher Bell gets off the track but gets moving again and the track stays green.
Lap 35, William Byron leads the race with Ryan Blane in second; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.
Kyle Busch is the reigning Cup champion, but it is the fact that he has not won a race this season is of much more concern to him. Busch has been in NASCAR for 15 years and has won at least one race in each of those 15 years. He is looking to continue that streak.
Lap 38, William Byron continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney in second and Joey Logano in third; Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman round out the top five.
Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman spin out but get moving and the track stays green.
Lap 39, William Byron has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney with Blaney closing the gap.
Lap 40, Ryan Blaney passes William Byron for the lead; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.
Lap 43, Ryan Blaney has the lead by three seconds on William Byron; Joey Logano is in third over four and a half seconds back. There are 36 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 45, Ryan Blaney has increased his lead over William Byron to nearly four seconds with Joey Logano in third.
Denny Hamlin short pits and comes down pit road for service. Several more drivers short pit and come down pit road before the end of stage two.
Lap 47, JJ Yeley brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall and is stopped.
Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in stage two. Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano battle for the lead while drivers are getting four wide across the track.
Kyle Busch has to limp around the track with a flat tire before he can get to pit road.
Ryan Blaney has a one second lead on Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin spins out on the final lap of stage two but gets the car moving again.
Ryan Blaney wins stage two.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Drivers come down pit road for service. With a fuel load of 35 to 37 laps, the drivers will have to make at least one more trip down pit road.
After staying out on the track, Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 54 with Bell getting out in front for the lead.
As the drivers were coming down for the green flag restart, Chase Elliott brings his car down pit road with a loose tire.
William Byron gets around Christopher Bell for the lead.
Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin all have on track incidents with Hamlin getting into the grass; but the track stays green and Hamlin gets back on the track.
Matt DiBenedetto makes an unscheduled trip down pit road for repairs and fresh tires.
Lap 57, William Byron has a one second lead on Christopher Bell with Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.
Lap 60, William Byron continues to lead the race with Christopher Bell in second; Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, and Kurt Bust round out the top five.
After having to make a second trip down pit road for a loose tire, Chase Elliott is in 22nd place. Elliott has won the last three road course races.
Lap 63, William Byron has a lead of nearly two seconds on Christopher Bell with Brad Keselowski in third over four seconds back.
Brad Keselowski gets off the course and Clint Bowyer takes third place.
Ty Dillon spins out and gets into the grass on lap 65 and brings out the caution flag. Dillon gets back on the course and continues on in 33rd place.
Drivers come down pit road for service. The drivers are outside of their fuel window and will still have to make at least one more stop for fuel.
William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 68 and edges out Christopher Bell for the lead with Clint Bowyer in third.
Going into turn three, Clint Bowyer takes second from Christopher Bell.
Lap 70, William Byron has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Clint Bowyer; Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.
Austin Dillon brings out the caution flag on lap 71 after hitting the wall and stopping on the track. With flat tires, Dillon needs help getting his car moving. Dale Earnhardt Jr noted that if it were 1989 the number three pit crew would be out on the track changing the tires.
Alex Bowman reports that he isn’t feeling well.
The drivers come down pit road for service and fuel. The drivers are at the edge of their fuel windows.
Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart and jumps out in front of Ricky Stenhouse Jr for the lead. Bubba Wallace and Stenhouse make contact; spinning Stenhouse out. That portion of the track still has some standing water.
With smoke coming out the back of the car, Clint Bowyer reports that something broke; adding he has a power steering issue.
Race leader Ryan Blaney spins out after getting into the water. Ryan Preece is the new leader.
With 35 laps to go, Ryan Blaney comes down pit road; Ryan Preece is in the lead with Alex Bowman in second and Joey Logano in third.
Ryan Blaney was caught speeding on pit road.
With 33 laps to go, Ryan Preece is in the lead; Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.
Erik Jones is reporting some overheating issues.
With 30 laps remaining in the race, Timmy Hill is the only car officially out of the race.
Kyle Busch takes fifth form Erik Jones.
Lap 81, Ryan Preece leads the race with Alex Bowman on his bumper.
Ryan Preece leads the race; Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.
Ryan Preece and Alex Bowman battle for the lead with Alex Bowman taking the stop.
Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott battle for the lead, but so far Bowman holds him off.
Lap 84, Chase Elliott takes the lead from Alex Bowman; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Erik Jones round out the top five.
Some of the teams are reporting that they are short on fuel.
Lap 86, Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second on Alex Bowman; Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.
There is some debris on the track; NASCAR put out the caution flag.
Matt Kenseth gets into the tire barrie just before turn three.
There are 34 cars on the lead lap.
Drivers come down pit road for service.
After staying out on the track, Kyle Busch is the leader and brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 20 laps to go with Busch getting out in front and Erik Jones in second.
The top five are Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Kurt Busch.
Nineteen to go, Erik Jones and Kyle Busch battle for the lead and gets out in front of Busch to become the leader.
Chase Elliott gets around Kyle Busch for second.
Eighteen to go, Erik Jones and Chase Elliead.battle for the lead with Elliott taking the lead.
John Hunter Nemechek spins out but gets moving again and the track stays green.
Sixteen to go, Chase Elliott has a one second lead on Erik Jones; Kurt Busch Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.
Fifteen to go, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a two second lead on Erik Jones.
Jimmie Johnson brings his smoking car down pit road.
Brennan Poole is stopped on the track bringing out the caution flag with 12 laps remaining in the race.
Some of the drivers come down pit road for service; leaders stay out.
When the caution flag came out, Ty Dillon was attempting to make a pit stop. The yellow came out and he moved to stay out and was charged with a commitment cone violation and had to restart the race from the back of the field.
Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 10 laps to go. Erik Jones challenges Elliott for the lead but Elliott holds him off and pulls away for a one second lead.
The top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Blaney.
Even though it has not rained for quite a while, there are still some very wet spots on the track.
Michael McDowell spins around but the cars get around him and the track stays green with just seven laps remaining in the race. McDowell gets turned around a second time; the track stays green.
With five laps to go, Chase Elliott has a two second lead on Joey Logano; Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.
Ryan Newman gets turned around and then makes contact with Gray Gaulding but the track stays green.
Wreck on the back stretch when Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr make contact as leader Chase Elliott takes the white flag.
Ring the siren!
Chase Elliott wins his fourth road course race in a row to take second place behind Jeff Gordon who has six.
Josh Bilicki gets into the wall and brings his car to a stop with flames coming out from under the car.
Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, and reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch have been eliminated from the playoffs.
The results of the Band of America 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
John Hunter Nemechek