Well it finally happened – a playoff driver won a playoff race. And Chase Elliott did it in fine form, racing clean and hard right to the checkered flag. It had a record number of lead changes, in a race where it was very hard to pass. The only real wreck was a multi-car spin that wasn’t all that serious.
Four NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races into the 2022 championship run and none of the Playoff drivers have won any of the postseason races this season, leaving all 12 still looking to clinch their spot in the Round of 8 with two races left in the Round of 12 – Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
The 2022 playoffs continue without a playoff driver winning a race. This may be a season where the eventual champion may only win a single race in the final 10 races. Tyler Reddick was the fourth consecutive non-playoff driver to win a race. Reddick was eliminated from the Round of 16 but proved that his remaining time with RCR will not go quietly.
Following the conclusion of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway, a total of 12 drivers have advanced, and now prepare for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – the first race of the Round of 12.
Under the lights, at the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile,’ the greatest stock car drivers on the planet will battle it out in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, this Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. With this weekend’s event serving as the elimination race for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 a lot is on the line.
Bubba Wallace took the helm of the 45 car into the playoffs to help Toyota battle for the manufacturers trophy. A lot of folks were scratching their heads over that move and questioning the sanity of Toyota and 23XI Racing. But a couple of weeks later, all the questions were answered as Bubba drove the 45 to its second victory at Kansas.
Switching gears and mashing the gas has this season’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs off to a feverish start and for the first-time in series history not one of the 16 Playoff drivers are locked into the Round of 12 following the postseason opener. That’s because Petty GMS and driver Erik Jones, a non-Playoff competitor this season, snatched the victory at Darlington Raceway last weekend, leaving the Playoff standings shaken-up like never before.
Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Last week I said that Erik Jones was my sleeper driver to turn the tables on the playoffs and he did it in rare form.
Daytona International Speedway has historically been known as a place of surprises and this past weekend’s Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola was no exception. As if a rain delay wasn’t enough, Friday night’s Xfinity Series race went into not double, but triple overtime and sent a different winner into Victory Lane – Jeremy Clements.
The week started with the announcement that Kurt Busch was not going to make the start of the Cup playoffs and that his waiver request had been withdrawn, effectively giving up any hope of a return for the former champion. That announcement left the window open for Martin Truex, Jr. and Ryan Blaney to make the playoffs on points if neither won at Daytona. That is, unless no one NEW won at Daytona.