This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
We've reached the cut for the second round in the Chase for the Cup. This weekend's event at Charlotte Motor Speedway is race six of 10 in the playoff format that crowns the NASCAR Cup Series champion. This event signals the end of the Round of 12 as four drivers will be eliminated from the field of playoff drivers after this race.
For this very crucial race NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway offer the fourth annual road course race at the North Carolina oval. Three seasons ago the folks at CMS constructed a 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course that incorporates most of the 1.5-mile oval and additional twists and turns on the infield for what the track calls a "roval" course. The configuration and type is very similar to the road course that Daytona International Speedway uses for both NASCAR and IMSA. This relatively new wrinkle in the Chase lineup of tracks will be a real curveball for the drivers this weekend, as most are out of their comfort zone on a road course as opposed to a true oval. The fact that most of the field raced on the Roval the last three seasons will help with some familiarity, but it's still a major departure from the weekly NASCAR track. When we add the newness of this event and course with the fact that it's a "cut race" in the Chase, the pressure to finish well will be enormous. Those drivers that don't find bad luck, or don't crack under