Roval takeaways: The signs point to drivers who want to participate in races

CONCORD, NC – On a day where focus is centered on a feud between two masters and Kyle Larson’s remarkable comeback, it’s easy to overlook a key aspect of Larson’s victory.

He scored five more playoff points.

Larson enters the third round with 65 playoff points. Barring a disaster – Yes, Kevin Harvick came into this round with 67 playoff points last year and failed to advance to the title race – Larson shows up on his way to his first Cup championship event.

He has a 42-point lead on the cutline heading into a round that begins Sunday in Texas, continues Oct. 24 in Kansas and ends Oct. 31 in Martinsville.

“They deserve to be in the championship race,” Kyle Busch said about Larson and his No. 5 team. “It’s just a matter of going out and beating them in that championship race.”

So if Larson is likely to take a spot in Championship 4 in Phoenix, then who are the other three drivers who will join him?

Martin Truex Jr. was an early favorite to win the championship after his victories in Phoenix, Martinsville and Darlington.

Truex opened the playoffs with a win and four top-10 finishes. With Texas and Kansas ahead, he is wary of looking too far ahead.

“I do not know that you can pick a clear favorite these days with the way these 550 races can go,” Truex said, referring to the 550-horsepower package that will be used in Texas and Kansas.

“Martinsville and Phoenix, I know we’ll be good to the two. Kansas and Texas, we have to get through with some strong races. We were strong in Kansas this spring. Texas, so so. Need to get better there. It’s so hard to predict the 550 numbers I feel like, at least for us. I never know what we’ll have. ”

If one considers Truex as a good bid to move on, it leaves two stains.

Denny Hamlin won the most recent race with the pack of 550 horsepower in Las Vegas – a race where pit strategy prevented the Hendrick cars. Even with the problem Chase Elliott became number two.

But do not forget Busch. He won in Kansas in May. He finished third in Las Vegas.

The challenge may be for Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Though Blaney won in Michigan in August with the 550 package, Fords has been down on power compared to its competitors.

“Our speed is close enough to point you in,” Logano said after the Roval race. “It is difficult to win where we are. We have to be a little faster to be up there and fight for a victory, but we keep doing what we do and grinding it out and focusing on every point. It’s our slogan for the playoffs that is every point, and that’s what we need to keep doing – look for every opportunity that is there and make no mistake all the way through and join Championship 4 again. ”

“Ongoing soap opera”

GMS Racing is putting up a Cup post next season, but if it has a charter, we’ll see.

Mike Beam, chairman of GMS Racing, said before Sunday’s cup race that acquiring a charter is an “ongoing soap opera.”

Beam cited the changed price of a charter, which guarantees a car a starting point in all 36 Cup points races and provides a specific payment schedule to teams based on a number of factors.

Charter prices have fluctuated based on supply and demand during a summer of intense activity.

Kaulig Racing bought two charters from Spire Motorsports for next season.

23XI Racing has purchased a charter to drive another car for next season, but has not detailed where the charter was acquired. Reports have stated that charters may come from Front Row Motorsports.

Trackhouse Racing, which leases a charter this season from Spire Motorsports, bought Chip Ganassi Racing and acquired its two charters for next season. Trackhouse will expand to a two-car operation.

It appears from reports Spire Motorsports could buy StarCom Racing’s charter for next season.

Rick Ware Racing owns three charters and leases one from Richard Petty Motorsports. Car owner Rick Ware said on Sunday that he is looking at being a team with two cars, possibly three cars with proper funding, next season. He drives four cars this season.

The market for chartering has grown as new owners enter the sport. The next generation car has led some of the movement. The next-generation car is designed to reduce long-term costs for organizations with most parts delivered to teams.

“I’ve done a lot of things in my career in terms of negotiating things,” Beam said of negotiating a charter. “It has been a challenge. I’ll tell you that. I let it be. It has been a challenge. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried in my life. I understand it. I understand, but I do not understand. I leave it there. ”

Beam later said about charter prices:

“It’s like 10 million kroner. ‘OK, well, I think I’m going to charge $ 12 (million) today, and then it’s going to 15.’

Ware said others had their chance to acquire a charter when he bought his.

“We made decisions when we had the opportunity to get the charters,” Ware said. “All these people were also in line to get the charter. I think at the time they were really not ready to invest in a car that was only going to be a year or two in the making and then disappear. Clearly, it has medication a bit. We were just lucky. ”

In 2018, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of BK Racing’s assets and its charter to Front Row Motorsports for $ 2.08 million. It is the only price for a charter sold that has been published.

After leasing the charter in 2020, Rick Ware Racing bought it from Front Row Motorsports before the 2021 season at an undisclosed price.

Hendrick dominance

When this season’s schedule – with a record seven road races – was revealed, the talk went to how many of those races Chase Elliott would win. Three? Fire? Five?

He won twice.

Teammate Kyle Larson won three of those races, giving Hendrick Motorsports victories in five of the seven road events this year.

Hendrick cars carried 49% of the 572 laps completed in the road races. Hendrick Motorsports had 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10 finishes in these events.

Give a Comment