Bell near his home in Texas to start NASCAR Tour 12

Christopher Bell has been one of the most consistent drivers in the NASCAR Qualifiers this season, and now he’s starting the next round close to home.

None of the qualifying contenders won any of the three races that opened this post-season, the first at any Tour since the current format to determine the Cup Champion began in 2014. But Bale was the only driver to finish the race in the top five in both Those weeks while fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin was a two-time runner-up before finishing ninth.

After cutting four drivers off the field, NASCAR opens Round 12 on Sunday at the 1/2-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Bell, the Oklahoma native, sees it as his home track and has finished third there in each of the last two fall races during his early Cup seasons.

“It’s one of my best tracks, so it was nice to have it in the quarter-finals, but hopefully we can take advantage of that and get out of the first race of the last 12 with a good points day, if not,” said Bale, who ranks 7th in the standings “Maybe the admiration for the racetrack comes from my results there.”

Joey Logano, who is second in the standings after Chase Elliott, called Texas the most important race for the contenders. Talladega Speedway and The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway are two more tracks on this tour before four other drivers are excluded from consideration for the championship.

“This is a week where you just have to look at the maximum points you can get,” Lugano said. “You have a bad race here, and then you have to be more aggressive in Talladega, which increases your chances of defeat and sort of gets a hard spot. … This race becomes important because that race is in this round.”

Bale was the only driver to have won a berth in the second round before Last weekend’s race in Bristol. His first five World Cup finals made him the points lead before being reset for Round 12. With just one win and four stages this year, he has only had 13 playoff points to add to the 3000 each advanced driver.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to reap a host of bonus points in the regular season, which hampers our chances of getting to the fourth round. But I think we have the speed to do that,” Bale said. We finally show it.”

The points reset put Chase Elliott, with 40 playoff points from four races and five wins, at the top of the standings. Elliott finished last on the 36-car South 500 inaugural in Darlington due to suspension damage from an early crash, but finished that round with a second place finish in Bristol.

Ross Chastain is third in the standings, ahead of cup holders Kyle Larson, William Byron, Hamlin, Bell and Ryan Blaney. Starting with the next frontier is Chase Briscoe. Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cendrick.

Blaney’s call

Blaney, from Won the NASCAR All-Star Race in Texas Four months ago, crew chief Jonathan Hasler will be in hole number 12 this weekend after a resume.

Hassler, Jackman Graham Stoddard and rear tire shifter Zachary Price were given a race four suspension by NASCAR for loose tires during last weekend’s race in Bristol. Penske’s team appealed the suspension, which allowed three of them to participate in Texas.

Blaney instigated during a warning in Bristol due to a flat tire in the right front. But after he pulled away and slowed because the team realized the left stern wasn’t tight, the tire took off and rolled into another driver’s stall.

make a dozen

Of the 12 drivers still eligible to win the Cup, six drive Chevrolets. There are also four Fords, Toyotas of Bell, and Hamlin.

Three of the eight cup champions are still vying to win another tournament. And they’ve all won in the past four years: Lugano in 2018, Elliott in 2020, and Larson last season.

Hendrick Motorsports makes up a third of the four contenders: Elliott, Larson, Byron and Bowman. Team Penske makes up a quarter with three Fords: Lugano, Blaney and Cendrick, the only rookie in the last dozen.

Possibilities and endings

Texans weren’t too soon in the playoffs, having been in the eighth round since becoming part of the post-season rotation in 2005. The track was the eighth of the last 10 races until last year, when it moved to the first race in that eight round. … this will be First race for new TMS General Manager Marc Faber, who has spent the past 17 years with AEG, including since 2014 in Las Vegas as Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships at T-Mobile Arena. His three-decade affair in the sports industry includes working with the Dallas Cowboys and IndyCar before going to work for AEG in Kansas City in 2005. “I remember coming here for events when I lived here and I know how popular the facility is,” Faber said. , who had his first NASCAR Cup race there in 1997. … Sunday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-90s, which could be record highs for the day.

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