It was a low news week to go along with the lack of a decent race to analyze, so I am struggling to think of anything to write about. The race itself was extremely forgettable with little action to speak of and a finish that lacked any flair. We still have the Elliott and Harvick bomb slowly ticking down, and I think we will see that go off in a few weeks, but nothing else drama related to speak of.
Honestly, outside of Christopher Bell, every playoff driver had their strong moments on Sunday. This is possibly the strongest playoff field we’ve ever had where honestly Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin are the strongest cars, but I don’t think that they are locks for the final four. That’s a controversial statement in Larson’s case, but once we get to the next round Larson has a questionable track record and could find himself in trouble if he has a couple of bad outings. It’s highly unlikely, but my main point is that almost every driver in the playoffs right now is driving with the capabilities of making the final four.
In this round, Larson and Hamlin are the only drivers safe. From third on down, all it would take is one bad race to fall out of the playoffs. These guys are so bunched up that I could see at least 10-15 different playoff variations playing out through the entire race with so many guys going from the front to the back at rapid paces. That is until the big one eventually takes out potentially a handful of playoff drivers.
With these drivers being so bunched up, it’s going to allow for some space to be created at Talladega. Inevitably there will be some guys who get caught in bad luck that causes them to fall into a hole points-wise. This could allow for a much clearer playoff picture once the dust settles, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
I wanna see a bunch of drivers bunched up points-wise and see some shocking elimination and cinderella stories. You want your favorite driver to be safe, but unbiased you have to respect the entertainment value here.
Drivers hate going to superspeedways because of these wildcard possibilities. Not being able to control their fate is frustrating and the fact that right now every driver has the potential to jump from 11th to 3rd in one race. So, a lot of extra ire is had heading into this race and more than likely will lead to some heated interviews when all is said and done. Expect the superspeedway hate talk to continue this weekend.
Thankfully, the drivers get ruled out thanks to this racing and the drama that comes from it being such a hit with fans. While I do hope that these playoffs can stay close, I don’t have faith that’s going to be the case. Come to the Roval, I think there will be a couple more drivers added to the “need to win” category and while that’s exciting in its own right, I’d rather see racing where nobody is safe.