The 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup moves from Texas to Arizona, with the final race in the Round of Eight coming up Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. The eight-driver field will be trimmed to four following the Can-Am 500. Chase participants have won this race in ten of the twelve years it’s been run as part of NASCAR’s “post-season” format. The only non-Chase competitors to win the fall race at P-I-R during that stretch are Kyle Busch in 2005 and Kasey Kahne in 2011.
► Seven of the eight drivers remaining in the semifinal round of the Chase have won a Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway: Kurt and Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. Joey Logano’s best finish there is third on two occasions, most recently in this race last year … Dating back to November 2012, Harvick has won six of the last eight races contested at P-I-R – including this year’s first stop on March 13th … So far this fall, all eight post-season races have been won by drivers on the original Chase Grid. The best finish by a non-Chase competitor is Brian Scott’s runner-up effort at Talladega Superspeedway sixteen days ago, when he finished second to Logano.
The 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has rolled out of Martinsville, Va., for the twelve hundred-mile trek to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth – site of Sunday’s Triple-A Texas 500. It’s the second race of the three-week Round of Eight, during which the field of eight remaining title contenders will be trimmed to four. Chase participants have won this race in ten of the eleven years it’s been run as part of NASCAR’s “post-season” format. Tony Stewart, in 2006, is the only non-Chase competitor to claim victory in the fall race at T-M-S.
Next stop Martinsville Speedway for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 as the semifinal round of the post-season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins. The eight remaining title contenders are traveling along a path that will ultimately lead to a championship for one with 1,076 “Miles-2-Miami” left before Ford Championship Weekend in November. This will be the sixth and final short-track race of the year and the only Chase race to be run on an oval less than one mile in length. Joe Gibbs Racing has dominated the 2016 short-track schedule with wins in four of the five races run thus far. Carl Edwards has victories at Richmond International Raceway and Bristol. Denny Hamlin won last month in Richmond and Kyle Busch was victorious in this year’s first visit to Martinsville on April 3rd. All four of J-G-R’s Cup Series competitors, including Matt Kenseth, have advanced to the Chase’s Round of Eight … Busch is bidding to become the first driver to sweep both Martinsville races in a single season since Hamlin doubled up in 2010.
On the track, it’s on to Talladega Superspeedway, as the second half of the post-season Chase kicks off with Sunday’s Hellmann’s 400. The twelve remaining title contenders are traveling along a path that will ultimately lead to a championship for one with 1,576.08 “Miles-2-Miami” left before Ford Championship Weekend in November … and elimination for four others after Sunday’s race. Recent wins by Chevrolet drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick have moved them into the next round. Joey Logano and Austin Dillon are presently tied for the final transfer spot into the Round of Eight that opens October 30th at Martinsville Speedway.