NASCAR Playoffs: Round of 12 set after Charlotte Roval

Four drivers were eliminated from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs following Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval as the postseason field was trimmed from 16 drivers to 12.

Read on for a full update on the standings and results.

Eliminated drivers

– Aric Almirola, No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
– Ryan Newman, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
– Kurt Busch, No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
– Erik Jones, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Advancing to the Round of 12

* Note: This will be updated with the official points and standings later.

1. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: 3,046 points
2. Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: 3,041 points
3. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: 3,030 points
4. Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford: 3,029 points
5. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford: 3,028 points
6. Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet: 3,024 points
7. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Team Penske Ford: 3,024 points
8. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet: 3,006 points
9. Alex Bowman, No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet: 3,005 points
10. Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Team Penske Ford: 3,004 points
11. William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet: 3,001 points
12. Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford: 3,000 points

MORE: Official results

The ups

– Three drivers had clinched a spot in the Round of 12 entering Charlotte (Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch) and three more clinched following Stage 1. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin all earned enough stage points in the first 25 laps to officially lock in for the next round. Chase Elliott officially locked in at the conclusion of Stage 2, which he won.

– Clint Bowyer, meanwhile, came into the Charlotte Roval four points behind the cutoff line. He drove his way into advancement with a strong showing, besting Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola for the final spot.

– Alex Bowman spun on Lap 1 approaching the backstretch chicane when he came in too hot in his No. 88 Chevrolet. After getting fresh tires and later serving the pass-through penalty, Bowman was scored last in the 40-car field, still on the lead lap. Bowman started the day two points behind the cutoff line, but was 29 points behind the line after that incident. That made his rally to a runner-up finish all the sweeter.

The downs

– Erik Jones faced a must-win situation in Charlotte, but he exited the race — and playoffs — early following a wreck late in Stage 1. “Heartburn Turn” produced plenty of heartache for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, whose No. 20 was damaged enough to go behind the wall and out of the race. Jones was hit from behind, a further frustration. It was a disappointing end to the season for Jones, who was one of the hottest drivers all summer and won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 in the second-to-last race of the regular season.