The 12 remaining competitors in the Chase for the Sprint Cup now face the Contender Round, which will play out over the next three weeks at Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway.
It’s certainly an interesting mix of tracks. Kansas and Charlotte are both 1.5-milers, but have differing signature characteristics – Kansas being smooth and fast, Charlotte boasting its historic high banks.
But at least drivers can feel as if they have a sense of controlling their destiny at Kansas and Charlotte.
They can’t feel that way with Talladega, which was the Chase’s wild card already thanks to its brand of restrictor plate racing but has now taken on extra importance as the Contender Round’s elimination event.
And so, the Chasers still standing and their respective teams find themselves having to prepare a strategy for two races – followed by a complete free-for-all.
In the clip above, Rick Allen and Kyle Petty of NASCAR AMERICA talk about the difficulties of creating such strategies for what may be the toughest round of the Chase.