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FILE - In this March 1, 2019, file photo, drivers Denny Hamlin, left, and Kyle Busch talk in pit lane before qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. Hamlin has all the momentum headed into the third round of NASCAR's playoffs, which start Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. But hot on his bumper are his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, regular season champion Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who leads the series with six wins this season.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)
FILE - In this March 1, 2019, file photo, drivers Denny Hamlin, left, and Kyle Busch talk in pit lane before qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. Hamlin has all the momentum headed into the third round of NASCAR's playoffs, which start Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. But hot on his bumper are his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, regular season champion Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who leads the series with six wins this season.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)|Associated Press
NASCAR

NASCAR Round of 8: 'The Eckel 3' pick the First Data 500 at Martinsville with Busch, Truex, Hamlin, Logano, Harvick, Elliott, Larson, Blaney

Race time is Sunday at 3 pm EDT.

Mark Eckel

First Data 500, Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Va., 3 p.m.

NASCAR has reached its Round of Eight as it heads to Virginia for the First Data 500 at “The Paper Clip’’

Eight drivers are left vying for the 2019 Cup and it looks like a wide open field. Here’s a quick look at the eight remaining drivers in the field before Sunday’s selections.

Kyle Busch: Busch, after a torrid start to the season, hasn’t won in 18 weeks, Still he remains a favorite to advance to the Final Four. And could seal a spot with a win Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr.: The Jersey native won the Cup in 2017 and stands a better than not chance of making it back to the Final Four. He’s been pretty good at Martinsville too.

Denny Hamlin: Perhaps the most consistent driver all season and one of the hottest in the playoffs. He could be your 2019 Cup winner.

Joey Logano: The defending champ needed a good effort to make it to the Round of Eight. Now he can win and advance to the Final Four.

Kevin Harvick: Harvick did not win a playoff race, but did enough to advance. That consistency could earn him enough points to advance as well.

Chase Elliott: Elliott punched his ticket to this round with a win in Charlotte. He’ll be looking to beat the odds to get to the Final Four.

Kyle Larson: Larson’s win at Dover qualified him. He’s never fared well here, so he may have to make up ground the next two weeks to advance.

Ryan Blaney: The long shot of the field. His win at a crazy Talladega race got him to this point. He could steal some points Sunday.

And now here are the selections for Sunday from the Eckel 3, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker and Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney.

Denny Hamlin (4-1): All three “experts’’ had him on the list and both “Tobacco Road’’ and “Left Turn’’ think he’ll find Victory Lane from the pole position. If he does it would be his sixth win here.

Kyle Busch (3-1): Isn’t it about time Busch wins another race? Isn’t it?

Martin Truex (5-1): Truex finished third here last year and second in 2017. So count on him to be in the mix. Two of three experts put him second.

Joey Logano (7-1): Logano won here last year, so a repeat isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It certainly wouldn’t be a shocker.

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