CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Monster Energy Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch is racing for his playoff eligibility this weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hits the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch is ranked 15th among the 16-Playoff drivers, 14-points behind 12th place William Byron, who currently sits in the last and final playoff transfer spot.
Busch suffered a cut tire and crashed in the playoff opener at Las Vegas, scoring a 39th place finish. Last weekend at Richmond Busch finished 18th. This weekend’s race at “The Roval” is an elimination race where only the top-12 in the playoffs will advance to Round 2.
Busch did finish fifth in last year’s inaugural race at the Roval. Busch also runs well on road courses, including a win on the road course at Sonoma in 2011 and 10 Top-10’s in 19-starts at Watkins Glen.
Busch isn’t the only driver facing elimination. Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer sits 10-points ahead of Busch in 14th place and Hendrick Motorsports Alex Bowman is 12-points ahead of Busch. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones sits in the 16th and last spot in the playoffs, 45-points out of the 12th and final transfer spot.
Practice for the Bank of America Roval 400 starts Friday at 12:30 p.m. with Busch Pole Qualifying taking place on Friday at 4:40 p.m.
Once the qualifying session is over newly-crowned NTT IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden is scheduled to make an “exhibition run” on the Roval in his Team Penske IndyCar.
Busch is no stranger to an IndyCar, having run the 2016 Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport finishing 6th and winning the race’s “Rookie-of-the-Year” honors.