NASCAR 4EVER 400: How to Watch, Top Drivers, and Race Details

Mike Nelson
by Mike Nelson
NASCAR Cup Driver, Kyle Larson (5) readies to take to the track.

In the relentless pursuit of the NASCAR Cup Series championship, the playoff field has been whittled down to eight contenders. Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, Joey Logano, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bid adieu, leaving the field more competitive than ever. Kyle Larson, the defending champion, now stands as the frontrunner, but other formidable drivers like William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and the fiery upstart Tyler Reddick are in the mix, making this race a true spectacle for motorsport enthusiasts.

Championship Background

As the NASCAR Cup Series playoff field narrows down to eight contenders for the championship, the point system becomes a pivotal factor in determining the titleholder. The championship format in NASCAR follows a playoff-style system where drivers accumulate points through various stages of the season, with the ultimate aim of advancing through the rounds and winning the championship.

At the outset of the NASCAR playoffs, a reset of points occurs for the 16 contenders. Points accrued during the regular season still matter, but they get supplemented with playoff points. These playoff points can be earned through race wins and stage wins, which are collected throughout the season. The higher a driver's playoff point tally, the better their position in the standings.

The playoff rounds consist of three stages: the Round of 16, the Round of 12, and the Round of 8 (which is this weekend), leading to the Championship 4. Drivers who perform well in each round by winning races and accumulating stage points secure their spots in the next round.

Round of 8 Race Details

The stage for this crucial battle is set at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval-shaped track in Homestead, Florida. This unique track, with its varying slopes in the turns, promises an action-packed race where drivers can go side-by-side.

An arial shot of the Homestead-Miami Speedway as it prepares for this weekend's race

Key Contenders and Odds

Kyle Larson, the defending champion of this event, finds himself in pole position for the championship with 4084 points, 4 wins, 2 poles, 14 top-5 finishes, and 16 top-10 finishes. DraftKings Sportsbook rates him as the clear favorite to win the race at +250. Right behind him is the fiery Tyler Reddick at +550, and Martin Truex Jr. follows at +600.

The Points Standings

  1. Kyle Larson - 4084 points, 4 wins, 2 poles, 14 top-5, 16 top-10
  2. William Byron - 4077 points, 6 wins, 3 poles, 13 top-5, 19 top-10
  3. Martin Truex Jr. - 4070 points, 3 wins, 1 pole, 9 top-5, 16 top-10
  4. Denny Hamlin - 4070 points, 3 wins, 4 poles, 13 top-5, 17 top-10
  5. Christopher Bell - 4068 points, 1 win, 6 poles, 9 top-5, 17 top-10
  6. Tyler Reddick - 4054 points, 2 wins, 2 poles, 9 top-5, 15 top-10
  7. Ryan Blaney - 4053 points, 2 wins, 0 poles, 5 top-5, 15 top-10
  8. Chris Buescher - 4047 points, 3 wins, 0 poles, 8 top-5, 15 top-10

As we head into the Round of 8, the drivers vying for the championship will face different scenarios:

  • Kyle Larson: Leading the points standings, Larson is in a prime position to clinch the championship. With 4084 points and 4 race wins, he needs to maintain his consistency and stay ahead of the competition to secure the title.
  • William Byron: Byron, with 4077 points, is hot on Larson's heels. He has a remarkable 6 wins in the season, and with only 7 points behind, he can take the championship by outperforming Larson in the upcoming races.
  • Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin: Truex Jr. and Hamlin are both tied at 4070 points. Truex Jr. has 3 wins, while Hamlin has 3 wins and 4 poles. To claim the championship, they must keep their momentum going, accumulate playoff points, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Other Contenders: The rest of the Round of 8 drivers, including Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, and Chris Buescher, will also need strong performances to secure the championship. Their positions in the standings may vary, but all have a shot at glory if they can consistently outperform their rivals.

Manufacturer Standings

  1. Chevrolet - 1224 points, Leader, 17 wins
  2. Toyota - 1143 points, -81 points behind, 9 wins
  3. Ford - 1129 points, -95 points behind, 7 wins

In the fiercely competitive arena of NASCAR, the choice of car manufacturer plays a pivotal role in a team's success. The current NASCAR Cup Series standings have showcased the strengths and strategies of the leading car manufacturers because that's what we really care about at AutoGuide:

  • Chevrolet: Chevrolet has asserted its dominance in the Cup Series, leading the manufacturer standings with 1224 points. With a remarkable 17 wins, Chevrolet teams have showcased the speed and reliability of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This iconic model continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the NASCAR circuit, embodying the spirit of American racing.
  • Toyota: Toyota has been a formidable contender, closely trailing Chevrolet with 1143 points. The Toyota Camry has demonstrated its ability with 9 wins, proving its mettle on the track. Toyota's commitment to innovation and performance has positioned it as a strong contender for the championship, with its eyes set on victory.
  • Ford: Ford has been a consistent presence in the Cup Series, securing 1129 points and 7 wins. The Ford Mustang GT has showcased its power and handling, living up to the expectations of fans and drivers alike. Ford's racing heritage continues to shine through, making it a manufacturer to watch as the playoffs unfold.

Key Event Schedule

Friday, Oct. 20 (All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 – 8 p.m. — Xfinity Series
  • 2:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 4:05 – 4:35 p.m. — Truck Series practice (no TV)
  • 4:35 – 5:30 p.m. — Truck Series qualifying (no TV)
  • 6:05 – 6:35 p.m. — Xfinity practice (USA, NBC Sports App)
  • 6:35 – 7:30 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (USA, NBC Sports App)

Saturday, Oct. 21 (All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. — Cup Series
  • 9 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 12 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 9:05 – 9:50 a.m. — Cup practice (NBC Sports App)
  • 9:50 – 11 a.m. — Cup qualifying (NBC Sports App)
  • 12 p.m. — Truck Series race (134 laps, 201 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 3 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles; USA, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Oct. 22 (All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 11:30 a.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 2:30 p.m. — Cup race (267 laps, 400.5 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

The weather is looking to be clear and sunny for this weekend, but as we approach the 4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, keep an eye on how these machines, piloted by the sport's top drivers, navigate the twists and turns of the track. The combination of skilled drivers and cutting-edge race cars promises an electrifying race where speed and strategy go hand in hand.

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Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson

I've worked in the publishing industry for nearly a decade, mostly in travel where I managed Over the last few years I shifted my focus to the technology sector, writing about the businesses and disruptions that come with it.

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