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September 14, 2023

Former Cup Series champions to be put to the test at Bristol


Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano race.
Meg Oliphant
Getty Images

As the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 comes to a close, 14 drivers who haven’t yet locked up a spot in the Round of 12 will look to do so during Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (6:30 ET, USA, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App).

Three former Cup Series champions — Joey Logano (2018, 2022), Kevin Harvick (2014) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017) — are in close proximity to the elimination line and all three may not advance out of the opening round.

RELATED: Cup Series Playoffs standings | Bristol weekend schedule

Logano leads the trio, sitting at 12 points above the elimination line and in the 11th position in the standings. Harvick is five points behind the No. 22 Team Penske Ford (+7) and 12th on the Playoffs grid.

Truex, meanwhile, stands on thin ice. After an 18th-place finish at Darlington Raceway and a last-place result at Kansas Speedway (due to a wreck), he is the first driver below the elimination line and seven points behind Harvick.

And so, the battleground for three past champions will be none other than the 0.533-mile short track that is Bristol, which has shown to be a tough challenge for many a driver. This challenge could become apparent on Saturday, where even the slightest hiccup could be the difference in one or more of these three past champions failing to advance.

The information below, courtesy of Racing Insights, details the trio’s overall numbers at Bristol during playoff races:

DriverPoints per raceTotal pointsAverage finish
Kevin Harvick43.31304.3
Joey Logano23.77116.3
Martin Truex Jr.15.74722.3
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