Wednesday, Dec 06

Ford Performance - Martinsville Playoff Advance

The final races in the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series take place this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with spots in the Championship 4 still up for grabs. Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher are vying for the final two spots in Cup while Cole Custer looks to advance in NXS.



The Round of 8 comes to a close this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with Ford drivers Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher still in contention for a spot in the Championship 4. Here’s where they stand with two races remaining in the elimination round.


4th – Ryan Blaney (+10)

8th – Chris Buescher (-43)


NOTE: The Championship 4 field will be determined after Martinsville



Even though Ryan Blaney does not have a NASCAR Cup Series win in 15 starts at Martinsville Speedway, it’s still a place where he has a lot of confidence. Look no further than the fact that he has an average finishing position of 9.5, which is a personal best on tracks he’s had more than two starts. Blaney has seven top-5 and nine top-10 efforts at the track, including finishes of fourth, third and seventh in his last three races. He goes into this weekend clinging to the fourth and final spot in the playoff standings, 10 points ahead of fifth-place Tyler Reddick.




Chris Buescher comes into this weekend’s elimination race at Martinsville Speedway knowing that a win will automatically clinch his spot in the Championship 4. As it stands, he comes into the weekend in eighth place, trailing the final transfer spot for the Championship 4 by 43 points. In 16 career starts, he has managed only one top 10 finish with that being a ninth in the 2021 playoff event. Buescher, who won a year ago on the half-mile bullring at Bristol Motor Speedway, has an average finish of 19.4 at Martinsville and is coming off a 14th place showing in the spring.



Few tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit have been better for Joey Logano when it comes to qualifying than Martinsville Speedway. Logano enters this weekend with an average starting position of 8.2, which is his second among all tracks in which he has more than 10 starts (Las Vegas is 8.1 in 21 starts) He has six poles, including three in a row in 2015-16, and had an active streak of 18 straight top-10 starts (including races where qualifying was rained out) from 2013-22. In 29 career races at the half-mile short track, Logano has an average finishing position of 11.1 and has been running at the finish of every event.



Brad Keselowski outdueled Kyle Busch down the stretch to win his first grandfather clock after capturing the STP 500 on Apr. 2, 2017. The two drivers waged a memorable battle that saw them swap the lead five times in the last 160 laps, but Keselowski ended up making the decisive pass on lap 458 and led the final 43 circuits to become the first repeat winner in 2017. Prior to winning at Martinsville, Keselowski took the checkered flag at Atlanta in the second race of the season.



Cole Custer is in the thick of the championship battle going into this weekend’s elimination race, finding himself on the bubble with two other drivers. Custer, who finished 13th after winning the first stage in Saturday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, holds the third spot over Austin Hill on a tiebreaker as each driver has 3113 points. Justin Allgaier is fifth and only three points behind both drivers as three berths remain in the Championship 4 at Martinsville. Custer made his first NXS start at the half-mile paperclip earlier this year when he sat on the pole and finished third. In six career Cup starts on the speedway, he had a pair of top five qualifying runs and a best finish of 13th in 2020.

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