TV channels, schedule, standings, best bets, weather and more

The NASCAR Cup Series shifts to Texas Motor Speedway to open the second round of the playoffs this weekend.

A new round brings a new championship favorite as the oddsmakers now favor 2021 Cup champion Kyle Larson for the title after he won the playoff opener at Darlington and posted top-five finishes at Kansas and Bristol. Larson opens the Round of 12 fourth in the standings, 13 points behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron and regular-season champion Martin Truex Jr.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400:

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 TV/streaming schedule

All times Eastern

12:30-1:20 p.m.: Practice (USA, NBC Sports app)
1:20-2:30 p.m.: Qualifying (USA, NBC Sports app)

3-3:30 p.m.: Pre-race show (USA, NBC Sports app)
3:30-6:30 p.m.: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (USA, NBC Sports app)

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 details

Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile dogleg oval) in Fort Worth, Texas
Length: 267 laps for 400.5 miles
Banking: Turns 1-2 – 20 degrees | Turns 3-4 – 24 degrees | Straights – 5 degrees
Stage lengths: Stage 1 – 80 laps | Stage 2 – 80 laps | Stage 3 – 107 laps
2022 winner: Tyler Reddick (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings

Despite a lackluster Round of 16, Truex Jr. starts the second round right where he did three weeks ago: atop the standings and level on points with William Byron. Truex had an average finish worse than 23rd in the three previous playoff races this season, and even dipped below the cut line, but things broke his way at Bristol and his stage points haul from the regular season ups his standing entering the Round of 12.

1. William Byron – 3,036
2. Martin Truex Jr. – 3,036
3. Denny Hamlin – 3,032
4. Kyle Larson – 3,023
5. Chris Buescher – 3,021
6. Kyle Busch – 3,019
7. Christopher Bell – 3,016
8. Tyler Reddick – 3,014
______________________________ Cut line
9. Ross Chastain – 3,011
10. Brad Keselowski  – 3,011
11. Ryan Blaney – 3,008
12. Bubba Wallace – 3,000

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 top drivers and best bets

The seven drivers with the best odds for victory, according to BetMGM, are all in the playoff field and six of those seven drive for either Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing, with last week’s Bristol winner Denny Hamlin leading the way.

Best odds to win
• Denny Hamlin +525
• Kyle Larson +600
• William Byron +800
• Tyler Reddick +800
• Martin Truex Jr. +800

Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg wrote earlier in the week on the gambling outlook and is bullish on Kyle Busch (+1400), who is the winningest active driver at Texas. Bromberg suggests shying away from Joey Logano — who was eliminated from playoff contention last week — citing Team Penske’s 2023 struggles on intermediate tracks.

Denny Hamlin (11) drives down the front stretch during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Denny Hamlin is the favorite to win Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 entry list

Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford
Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford
Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford
Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford
A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford
Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota
William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Zane Smith (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Carson Hocevar (42), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Todd Gilliland (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford
Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
BJ McLeod (78), Live Fast Motorsports Ford
Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 weather

The forecast for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is scorching, with highs projected in the upper 90s for both days of Cup Series running and a 69% chance of rain for race day. Assuming things stay relatively dry, the combination of hot track surface chewing up tires and a likely high number of cautions — there haven’t been fewer than eight in any Texas race since 2019 — should make for wildly varying pit strategies, especially in the playoff field.

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