2021 Cuptrackroundof8
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Analysis: 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 track-by-track breakdown

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue Sunday, as four races remain in the 10-race battle for the championship.

RELATED: Cup Series point standings

Last weekend, the Round of 12 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval – concluded, and the four contenders eliminated were Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Alex Bowman.

Up next is the Round of 8, which includes Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. The Championship 4 will then finally be determined and compete at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7 in a straight-up race for the iconic Bill France Cup trophy.

Here are the eight drivers (and how they advanced) still vying for the title, in order of their seeding: Kyle Larson (win), Denny Hamlin (win), Martin Truex Jr. (points), Ryan Blaney (points), Kyle Busch (points), Chase Elliott (points), Joey Logano (points) and Brad Keselowski (points).

RELATED: Cup Series playoffs hub page

Now, a Round of 8 track-by-track breakdown:


(📅 Sunday | 2 p.m. ET | 📺 NBC | 📻 PRN, SiriusXM)

Name: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Fort Worth, Texas
Length: 1.5 miles
Distance: 334 laps, 501 miles
Previous winner: Kyle Busch (Oct. 28, 2020)

RELATED: Texas race results

Kyle Busch, who is still in the running for the 2021 championship, won last season’s playoff race at Texas, leading a race-high 90 of the 334 laps. Along with Busch, there were five other current title contenders in the top 10 – Martin Truex Jr. (second), Ryan Blaney (fourth), Brad Keselowski (sixth), Denny Hamlin (ninth) and Joey Logano (10th).

Truex has competed in the most races at Texas but by only one. Busch carries the best marks in wins, top fives, top 10s and average finish, only being equaled by Truex in top 10s.

Screen Shot 2021 10 14 At 2.53.44 Pm


(📅 Oct. 24 | 3 p.m. ET | 📺 NBCSN | 📻 MRN, SiriusXM)

Name: Hollywood Casino 400
Kansas City, Kansas
Length: 1.5 miles
Distance: 267 laps, 400.5 miles
Previous winner: Kyle Busch (May 2, 2021)

RELATED: Kansas race results

Kyle Busch won the regular-season race at Kansas earlier this year after holding the No. 1 spot just 20 of the 267 laps. In addition to Busch, three other playoff drivers fell in the top-10 finishing order – Brad Keselowski (third), Chase Elliott (fifth) and Martin Truex Jr. (sixth). All of them led laps. Kyle Larson finished 19th but led a race-best 132 laps.

Busch has the most experience at Kansas, but not by much whatsoever. Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano are tied for the highest win total, while Truex and Busch match for the best top-five and top-10 count. Keselowski also matches them in top 10s. Elliott, meanwhile, sneaks in with the strongest average finish.

Screen Shot 2021 10 14 At 2.53.33 Pm


(📅 Oct. 31 | 2 p.m. ET | 📺 NBC | 📻 MRN, SiriusXM)

Name: Xfinity 500
Martinsville, Virginia
Length: 0.526 miles
Distance: 500 laps, 263 miles
Previous winner: Martin Truex Jr. (April 11, 2021)

RELATED: Martinsville race results

Martin Truex Jr. pulled through in the regular-season event at Martinsville with 16 of his 20 laps led overall closing out the race. He was one of six title-eligible drivers to finish in the top 10 – Chase Elliott (second), Denny Hamlin (third), Kyle Larson (fifth), Joey Logano (sixth) and Kyle Busch (10th). Hamlin was out front for a race-best 276 of the 500 laps.

Busch once again has the highest start tally at Martinsville, but not by much. He also has the best top-five mark, but Hamlin matches Busch there en route to sweeping wins, top 10s and average finish.

Screen Shot 2021 10 14 At 2.53.22 Pm