The Second Race of the NASCAR playoffs went on without the dramatics of the prior race at Las Vegas. #18 Kyle Busch who had to start at the rear of the field ended Saturday night as the winner in Richmond and securing a spot in the round of 12 of the playoffs. He joins the #2 of Brad Keselowski as the two winners so far in the NASCAR playoffs round of 16.
The Stages went rather quickly. Each was won by #78 Martin Truex Jr. He dominated a race at Richmond much as he did in the Spring, but again pit road issues deterred his chances at the race win. Luckily for him, he did enough to lock himself into the round of 12. #2 Brad Keselowski looked like he could have won his fourth straight, but Kyle Busch was able to perform at the right time as he won for the 50th time in his career in the Monster Energy Cup Series. It also marked his seventh win in 2018.
Top 10 finishers:
1st #18 Kyle Busch
2nd #4 Kevin Harvick
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr
4th #9 Chase Elliott
5th #10 Aric Almirola
6th #3 Austin Dillon
7th #42 Kyle Larson
8th #48 Jimmie Johnson
9th #2 Brad Keselowski
10th #14 Clint Bowyer
Other Notables: #20 Erik Jones P11, #88 Alex Bowman P12, #22 Joey Logano P14, #11 Denny Hamlin P16, #19 Daniel Suarez P17, #41 Kurt Busch P18, #12 Ryan Blaney P19, #24 William Byron P20.
As NASCAR makes its return to home track Charlotte, it’s going to be very different as the drivers will face the new 17 turn road course at the Roval at Charlotte. Here are the standings as the Playoffs hit the final race of the round of 16. Four drivers will be eliminated after this race.
1st #18 Kyle Busch 2125 points locked in
2nd #2 Brad Keselowski 2111 points locked in
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr 2141 points locked in
4th #4 Kevin Harvick 2113 points +57 over the cutoff
5th #22 Joey Logano 2081 points +25 over the cutoff
6th #10 Aric Almirola 2079 points +23 over the cutoff
7th #42 Kyle Larson 2073 points +17 over the cutoff
8th #41 Kurt Busch 2071 points +15 over the cutoff
9th #9 Chase Elliott 2066 points +10 over the cutoff
10th #3 Austin Dillon 2066 points +10 over the cutoff
11th #88 Alex Bowman 2061 points +5 over the cutoff
12th #12 Ryan Blaney 2060 points +4 over the cutoff
13th #14 Clint Bowyer 2056 points -4 under the cutoff
14th #48 Jimmie Johnson 2054 points -6 under the cutoff
15th #20 Erik Jones 2039 points -21 under the cutoff
16th #11 Denny Hamlin 2031 points -29 under the cutoff
The race at the Roval is going to be a very intriguing race. From the fact that this is the first ever race on this new track at a very familiar place, but also the fact that this is the cutoff race for the round of 16. We could very well see many drivers get eliminated that could be big contenders for the championship four later in the playoffs. I would keep an eye on Chase Elliott in this one, along with non-playoff driver and road course expert AJ Allmendinger in this race, because honestly, this race is going to be a crazy race on Sunday.