NASCAR playoffs at Las Vegas: How to watch, stream, preview, picks for the South Point 400

Las Vegas is not the kind of city where the stakes can be increased much more dramatically. Here, as many who have risked it all in this desert playground can attest, high stakes are the only stakes.

So it makes sense that the NASCAR Cup Series would return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway at a point where the stakes couldn’t be higher. This weekend’s South Point 400 marks the first race of the Round of Eight, meaning it’s the first opportunity for the eight remaining playoff drivers to secure a spot in Championship 4 and a shot at the Cup Securing the Series Championship in Phoenix.

Chase Elliott sits at the top of the table as his regular-season championship and excess playoff points continue to put him head and shoulders above the rest of the field. But after Christopher Bell prevailed at the Charlotte Roval last weekend, the remaining remaining playoff drivers appear primed and poised to strike first.

How to watch the NASCAR playoffs in Las Vegas

  • Date: Sunday October 16th
  • Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway–Las Vegas, NV
  • Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC
  • Electricity: fuboTV (try for free)

Something to see

The Round of 16

The 2022 playoffs got off to an unprecedented start, with four non-playoff drivers winning the first four races. Since then, order seems to have been restored. Chase Elliott became the first playoff driver to win at Talladega, and Christopher Bell followed with a win to avoid elimination at the Charlotte Roval.

Aside from those two, the nature of the 2022 season and the sheer number of different winners has meant that the six other remaining riders have been looking for their first wins for quite some time. Of the group of riders remaining in the playoffs, the youngest winner is Joey Logano, whose second win of the season came at Gateway in early June.

Ross Chastain has not won since Talladega in April. Denny Hamlin hasn’t won since the Coca-Cola 600 in May, William Byron hasn’t won since Martinsville in April, and Chase Briscoe hasn’t won since his first career win at Phoenix in March. Ryan Blaney, currently sixth on the way to the round of 16, hasn’t won at all this season.

Of this group, Hamlin and Chastain are the most notable. Hamlin is the defending champion of this race and Ross Chastain had a breakthrough in Las Vegas in March, where he led for 83 laps on his way to third place. Chastain goes into this race six points above the Championship 4 cut line, while Hamlin is currently six points below.

Hunt Briscoe

Speaking of Briscoe, he goes into this race with an extra burden compared to the other round of 16 drivers. Not only does he have to keep looking for a possible place in Championship 4, but he also has to prove that he even belongs in the round of 16.

Briscoe’s furious overtime attack at the Charlotte Roval to advance to the playoffs while eliminating defending champion Kyle Larson, was overshadowed by a scandal surrounding team orders when Stewart-Haas Racing team-mate Cole Custer blatantly slowed in front of a queue of traffic to allow Briscoe to make several passes on the final lap. After NASCAR discovered that Custer had received a coded order to disrupt Briscoe’s competition (Custer was told to check under the pretense that he had a flat tire), NASCAR threw the book at SHR’s No. 41 team and docked Custer and his Team 50 to driver and owner points while crew chief Mike Shiplett is suspended indefinitely.

Although Briscoe was the direct beneficiary of Custer’s actions, NASCAR chose not to strip Briscoe of his spot in the round of 16 on the grounds that he was already able to advance before getting past the cars Custer was holding up and NASCAR was not found any evidence in his team’s radio pointing to the coordination of team orders. Nevertheless, the circumstances surrounding Briscoe’s place in the round of 16 can be seen as a motivation for him and his racing team.

Briscoe has had some good results in 1.5s this season and is in a hot streak with three top 10 finishes in his last three races, but he’ll have to face his destiny from the spring race in Las Vegas where he finished 35th .Finished, turning back after crashing mid-race.

X marks Xfinity

Concurrent with the Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its own Round of 16 this weekend in Las Vegas. But thanks to circumstances at the Cup level, the race for the Xfinity Series Championship has ultimately spilled over into the Cup Series.

Las Vegas native Noah Gragson, who leads all Xfinity drivers with seven wins this season, will continue to serve as backup driver for Alex Bowman (concussion) until at least Martinsville. Gragson was originally scheduled to drive the number 16 for Kaulig Racing, a drive that now goes to another Xfinity Championship contender, AJ Allmendinger. Both are in the Cup field alongside Ty Gibbs, who has been the backup driver for Kurt Busch (concussion) since the summer and continues to seek the Xfinity title.

Cup-level track time is valuable for all three drivers as all three are expected to drive the Cup full-time next year – Gragson and Allmendinger’s drives have already been confirmed, while Gibbs is expected to replace Kyle Busch as the driver of the Toyota No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing. But there’s also a chance the weekend’s added demands will steer away from their Xfinity efforts in favor of other championship contenders like Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry and Austin Hill. That sure makes her Saturday performance attention-grabbing compared to her Sunday races over the next three weeks.

Choose to win

(Odds via Caesars Sportsbook)

Ross Chastain (+950): Ross Chastain’s performance in Las Vegas this spring didn’t come out of nowhere. Las Vegas has long been a stellar track for him, and there’s no greater proof of that than his first career win in the Xfinity series. Shortly after finally getting a chance to drive top gear for Chip Ganassi Racing, Chastain dominated the Vegas fall race, leading 180 of 200 laps to earn his first NASCAR win of any kind.

That win marked a career-changing day for Chastain, who has since become a Cup Championship contender in his first season with Trackhouse Racing. A win on Sunday would give him his third win of the season and also give him a shot at his first cup title.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *