Darlington delivers chaos for NASCAR’s playoffs contenders
9 out of the 16 playoff drivers completed exterior the top-15 within the playoff opener at Darlington Raceway on an evening when no-one appeared immune to hassle.
Shocked? Kevin Harvick mentioned you shouldn’t be.
“That actually shouldn’t shock anyone,” Harvick mentioned after ending fifth within the Southern 500. “I imply, we’ve achieved this for a very long time, so if anyone is stunned, they’re very, very new, and Darlington, basically, is simply a kind of locations that creates chaos in itself. There are lots of locations which you could make a mistake, and it’s the primary race of the playoffs, and everyone at all times loses their thoughts within the first race of the playoffs.
“It occurs yearly. If it’s not the primary race, it’ll be one of many first three, or 4, 5 in six, or seven, eight, and 9. In some unspecified time in the future, all of them lose their thoughts.”
Harvick completed behind winner Denny Hamlin, second-place finisher Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex Jr., who got here residence fourth. (Third-placed Ross Chastain isn’t within the playoffs). The opposite playoff drivers within the high 10 have been Kurt Busch in sixth, Brad Keselowski seventh, and Joey Logano eighth.
Keselowski mentioned each time he noticed chaos, he thought of his group not digging themselves a gap. However the No. 2 crew, which struggled many of the night time and weren’t contenders, took benefit of those that fell out.
Logano additionally identified that others self-destructed whereas his crew was capable of maximize the day.
The record of points for playoff drivers was intensive:
- Alex Bowman hit the wall in Turns 3 and 4 on lap 15 and broken his automobile. He ran a number of laps down all night time. Bowman additionally had a small fireplace get away in his pit stall throughout one pit cease
- William Byron broken his automobile operating into Bowman on lap 15. Byron later crashed out of the race due to a flat tire on lap 200
Chase Elliott broken his left-front fender hitting a tire whereas pulling out his pit stall underneath the competitors warning
Michael McDowell crashed on lap 31 and completed final
Kyle Busch crashed on lap 125 and completed thirty fifth
Elliott missed coming to pit street on lap 158
Truex was trapped a lap down underneath the lap 163 particles warning as a result of he needed to pit for a unfastened wheel. He acquired the free move underneath the lap 232 warning
Ryan Blaney had an uncontrolled tire underneath the Stage 2 warning
Christopher Bell was pressured to pit underneath inexperienced for a vibration on lap 253
Harvick pitted for a unfastened wheel underneath inexperienced flag situations with 80 laps to go
Blaney spun with 50 laps to go, complaining of not having brakes
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