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Ryan Blaney leads all drivers in stage points at COTA

Photo: Dominic Aragon/TRE

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Ryan Blaney led all NASCAR Cup Series drivers in stage points during Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

Blaney earned 16 stage points Sunday – nine for a second-place finish in stage one and seven for a fourth-place finish in stage two. He finished sixth and led one lap after winning the pole.

Photo: TRE

Teammate Joey Logano earned the second-most stage points – 15 – despite multiple spins dropping him to a 31st-place finish Sunday.

Logano earned seven points for a fourth-place finish in the first stage and eight points for a third-place finish in the second stage. Between the stages, he also led two laps.

Logano bested stage one winner Daniel Suarez and stage two winner Denny Hamlin in points Sunday. Suarez and Hamlin each earned 10 stage points.

Suarez did not earn any points in stage two after he spun at the start of the stage. He finished 24th overall, with 15 laps led.

Hamlin finished 17th in stage one and did not earn any points. He finished 18th overall with three laps led.

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE

Other stage points earners during Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas:

Kyle Busch (9), Alex Bowman (8); Kyle Larson, Harrison Burton, Aric Almirola (6), Austin Dillon and Justin Haley (5), Chase Elliott (4); Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain (3), Bubba Wallace (1).

William Byron failed to earn stage points Sunday. Byron lead the series in stage points and earned points in four straight races, including Phoenix and Atlanta where he won stage one in each race.

Photo by Feliz Vigil/TRE

Overall, 28 of the 39 points-earning drivers have earned at least one stage point in each of the first six races.

STAGE POINTS THROUGH COTA
William Byron – 55
Ryan Blaney – 50
Joey Logano – 49
Kyle Larson – 47
Chase Elliott – 46
Tyler Reddick – 35
Chase Briscoe – 33
Alex Bowman – 33
Martin Truex Jr. – 29
Denny Hamlin – 29
Erik Jones – 27
Ross Chastain – 26
Daniel Suarez – 23
Brad Keselowski – 22
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 21
Kevin Harvick – 17
Kyle Busch – 17
Aric Almirola – 16
Austin Cindric – 14
Bubba Wallace – 13
Austin Dillon – 13
Kurt Busch – 9
Todd Gilliland – 9
Christopher Bell – 7
Harrison Burton – 6
Cole Custer – 5
Justin Haley – 5
Chris Buescher – 4

The stage point totals in this report do not include points earned during the Daytona qualifying races.

STAGE WINS
Eight total drivers have won a stage in 2022.

Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Martin Truex Jr. lead the field with two stage wins apiece, while Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain have won one stage each.

PLAYOFF POINTS

Nine drivers have picked up at least one playoff point this season. William Byron leads the way with 7 points, followed by Alex Bowman and Ross Chastain with 6 points. Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe are next with 5 points apiece.

Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr. and Tyler Reddick have each earned two points. Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez have each earned one point.

STAGE POINTS EXPLAINED

NASCAR awards the Top-10 finishers of Stages 1 and 2 in points-awarding races, with the exception of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May (three stages award points there). 

A stage winner earns 10 points, which is added to the points they earn for their finishing position. Second place in a stage earns nine points, third place earns eight and so forth.

OUTLOOK
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, at Richmond Raceway.

Alex Bowman is the defending winner. He earned 11 stage points last April. Denny Hamlin swept both stages but finished second overall to Bowman.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – APRIL 18: Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 18, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

SOURCES
Racing-Reference.info

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