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NASCAR Playoffs: Round of 8 set after Kansas

Four drivers were eliminated from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway as the postseason field was trimmed from 12 drivers to eight.

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

Eliminated drivers

• Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Team Penske Ford
• William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
• Alex Bowman, No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
• Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Advancing to the Round of 8

1. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 4,046 points
2. Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 4,042 points
3. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 4,037 points
4. Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford, 4,030 points
5. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, 4,028 points
6. Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, 4,024 points
7. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 4,011 points
8. Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Team Penske Ford, 4,009 points

MORE: Unofficial results

The ups

• Two drivers had clinched spots in the Round of 8 based on victories earlier in the round (Kyle Larson at Dover, Ryan Blaney at Talladega). Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin snapped up two more berths based on their performance in the first two stages at Kansas. Hamlin won Stage 2, and Truex gathered 15 points in the stages, tied with Chase Elliott for the most among playoff drivers.

• The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team benefited from a late caution period, and Chase Elliott converted the solid pit strategy and good fortune into a clinching second-place run that sealed the final Round of 8 berth. Elliott erased a 22-point gap to keep his postseason hopes intact.

• Joey Logano entered the Hollywood Casino 400 in the last transfer spot on the provisional playoff bubble, but bolstered his cause with a Stage 1 victory. The Team Penske No. 22 group rallied from an unscheduled pit stop for a wheel vibration, then used some pit strategy to emerge triumphant in a two-lap shootout at the opening stage’s end. A seventh-place finish worth four points at the end of Stage 2 helped keep his title defense going, offsetting a late spin that left him with a 17th-place finish.

The downs

• Some early damage and an ill-handling No. 88 Chevrolet hindered Alex Bowman’s long-shot chances to advance in the postseason. Though he recovered to briefly return to the lead lap, Bowman was closed out of the top 10 at the end of each stage, frittering away extra points and losing ground to his playoff rivals.

• Brad Keselowski faded out of the running for one of the final spots in the Round of 8 with an uncharacteristic 19th-place result that made it a tense run to the finish at Kansas, a venue where he won in May. Keselowski didn’t score a top-10 finish in any of the Round of 12’s three races.