I’m not sure Toto even wanted to be in Kansas at the end of the cup series race Sunday. In case you missed it, here’s the highlights:
Martin Truex won (to nobody’s surprise). He’s almost got the best average finish at mile-and-a-half tracks throughout the season as any cup series driver ever has. Texas’ own Bobby Labonte leads that list with his 1999 season. The bigger surprises from Sunday were who didn’t finish and why.
Matt Kenseth was disqualified from the race, and thus eliminated from the “playoffs” after he got into a wreck and was penalized when too many of his crew members went over the wall to repair his car.
Kyle Larson blew an engine for the first time in his career, and that compounded with the wreck he wound up in at Talladega knocked him out of the round of eight. That just goes to prove that while the three favorites can have one bad race in each round, two is just too much to overcome in most cases.
As the playoff points all carry through to the third round, the remaining two favorites (Truex and Kyle Busch) again look almost untouchable with 4,069 and 4,042 points. Here’s how all eight stack up heading into Martinsville at 4:00 Sunday:
1. Martin Truex Jr., 4,069 points
2. Kyle Busch, 4,042 points
3. Brad Keselowski, 4,026 points
4. Kevin Harvick, 4,017 points
5. Jimmie Johnson, 4,017 points
6. Denny Hamlin, 4,014 points
7. Ryan Blaney, 4,009 points
8. Chase Elliott, 4,006 points
Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix make up the third round of the “playoffs.” After that, the last four cars standing will go to Miami to race heads-up for all the marbles. It’s also worth noting that, while Truex has been good at Texas, he barely managed a top 10 there in the spring, and was a lot worse than that at the other two tracks in this round earlier in the year. So, this could shape up to be an interesting round.