BY DOMINIC ARAGON AND JONATHAN FJELD
NASCAR has run 12 races on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course — also known as The Roval –
In the Cup Series, five of the six Roval winners were a part of the NASCAR Playoffs.
Three of the last four winners then advanced to the Championship 4 too – including two who went on to win the championship.
In the Xfinity Series, there have been only three winners in six races. Only three times has a winner been a full-time driver.
The Roval winners are as follows:
2018: Ryan Blaney (Cup), Chase Briscoe (Xfinity)
In its debut on the schedule, the Charlotte Roval did not disappoint in its inaugural showing.
On the last lap, Jimmie Johnson attempted to make a last-corner move on Martin Truex Jr for the win. Johnson spun out, collecting Truex.
As Johnson struggled to get back going and Truex was turned around backward, third-place Ryan Blaney passed the past champions and won.
Blaney earned his second career Cup Series win that day. It was also his first of eight wins, so far, driving for Team Penske.
The day before, Chase Briscoe led 33 of 55 laps and claimed his first Xfinity Series win.
Future Cup Series owner Justin Marks finished second while future Cup Series drivers Austin Cindric, Ryan Preece and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-5.
Briscoe went on to finish fifth in points in 2019 with one win. Then, in 2020, he won nine times and made the Championship Four, finishing fourth in points, before moving on to the Cup Series in 2021.
2019-20: Chase Elliott (Cup), A.J. Allmendinger (Xfinity)
Here begins the reign of Hendrick Motorsports and A.J. Allmendinger over the Charlotte Roval.
What looked like game over for Elliott, after locking up the brakes on a restart and slamming into the turn 1 wall head on, quickly turned around at the Roval in 2019.
Elliott had led 28 of 66 laps when the incident happened. He rallied back to the front and led the final six laps, plus one lap, to secure the win over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman.
At 35 of 109 laps led, Elliott still led the most laps that day.
Under much less chaotic circumstances in 2020, Chase Elliott became the first repeat winner at the track.
Elliott tied teammate William Byron for the most laps led that day, at 27 of 109 laps led. Then, Elliott went on to claim the 2020 title.
In the Xfinity Series, the 2019 race saw Allmendinger earn his first win in the series since Mid-Ohio in 2013. He led 20 of 67 laps and beat future Cup Series drivers Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric for the win in 2019.
In 2020, Allmendinger won the first ever nighttime NASCAR race in the rain. He survived 10 cautions and 14 lead changes in 68 laps to command the race for 12 laps, including the final two, to win at The Roval for the second time.
Allmendinger only intensified his reign on The Roval when he went full-time the next year. We’ll get to that.
2021: Kyle Larson (Cup), A.J. Allmendinger (Xfinity, 3)
In 2021, Kyle Larson needed a solid day at The Roval to make it to the next round. While he had mechanical issues, Larson pulled through and led the final eight laps en route to victory.
Larson solidified more playoff points with the win. Those points propelled him to the 2021 championship.
Meanwhile, Allmendinger led the final 21 laps in the Xfinity Series race in 2021 and won at The Roval for the third year in a row.
Allmendinger later finished fourth in the Championship Four at Phoenix.
2022: Christopher Bell (Cup), A.J. Allmendinger (Xfinity, 4)
Four drivers led 21 laps or more but Christopher Bell just needed to lead the final two laps. A late-race pass in overtime ensured Bell won and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
If not for the win, Bell would’ve missed the next round – and later the Championship Four.
A.J. Allmendinger, again, won at The Roval, claiming his fourth win in a row.
However, after moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series, Allmendinger won’t be able to get his fifth straight Roval win in the Xfinity Series.
That didn’t stop his winning ways, though.
2023: A.J. Allmendinger (Cup), Sam Mayer (Xfinity)
A.J. Allmendinger held off a late-race challenge from William Byron – and other challenges from Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs – to get an emotional win.
Allmendinger was one of a few drivers who had pitted when a stage two-ending caution fell on lap 49 of 109.
That vaulted Allmendinger to second, behind Kyle Busch who he dogged for the first five green-flag laps of stage three.
Then, on lap 58, Allmendinger took the lead and never looked back, save for six laps during green-flag pit stops.
Allmendinger brought home his and Kaulig Racing’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory since Indianapolis in August 2021.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sam Mayer won the pole and led all but 17 laps to clinch a spot in the Round of 8. Mayer needed to win to advance in the playoffs.
Mayer became the first-ever playoff-eligible driver to win an Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte Roval. It was his third career Xfinity Series win.