Everyone expected the “Big One” at Talladega Superspeedway to cause havoc for NASCAR’s playoff drivers Monday afternoon.
Yet no one could have foreseen this much carnage … or this type of fantastic finish.
In the end, Ryan Blaney nipped Ryan Newman by mere inches at the finish line to claim his first victory of 2019 and the third win of his career.
The margin of victory, 7/1,000ths of a second, is the sixth-closest finish of all-time in NASCAR’s top series.
While the victory clinches Blaney a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs, other playoff drivers weren’t so fortunate, as all 12 were involved in one or more multicar crashes or other mayhem in the 1000Bulbs.com 500.
William Byron won the first stage of the race Sunday before wet weather postponed the finish to Monday.
Clint Bowyer won Stage 2 after he managed to avoid “the Big One” on lap 106 when Alex Bowman, who was running in second place, got turned around on the backstretch while trying to block a charging Joey Logano.
Playoff drivers Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson were also caught in the crash.
The yellow flag came out with 36 laps to go after Bowyer went for a solo spin off Turn 4 and needed a wrecker to help get his car unstuck from the steep banking. A few laps later, another big crash erupted when a chain-reaction pileup in the lower drafting line got Byron loose, and he turned into Logano, as the two collected several other cars. While Logano returned to the track, Byron was finished for the day.
With less than 10 laps remaining, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski were involved in another big crash, which saw Brendan Gaughan go briefly airborne.
Blaney led the way on the restart with two laps remaining and held off the rest of the field as yet another multicar crash broke out on the final lap.
The NASCAR playoffs continue Oct. 20 at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR playoff points standings 2019
How the NASCAR playoffs work:
Sixteen NASCAR drivers qualified for the playoffs. Four were eliminated in the Sept. 29 race at Charlotte. Four more will be eliminated in the Oct. 20 race at Kansas, and four more will fall out at Phoenix on Nov. 10, leaving the final four drivers to compete straight up for for the NASCAR Cup title Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the first of the four playoff drivers to cross the finish line is crowned the champion.
How drivers earn points:
– Win Stage 1 or Stage 2 in a race: 1 playoff point (point awarded per stage win)
– Win a race: 5 playoff points
– Win the regular-season championship: 15 playoff points
Second place in the final regular-season standings earns 10 playoff points, third place receives eight points, and the points awarded decline to one point for 10th (4th = 7 points, 5th = 6 points, etc.).
Championship-contending drivers can accumulate additional playoff points throughout the playoffs via stage and race wins and may use all the playoff points they earn, from both the regular season and the playoffs, to advance all the way up to the Championship 4.
Playoff points are added to a championship-contending driver’s reset points total at the start of every round of the playoffs until they are eliminated from championship contention.
At Homestead-Miami, playoff points are off the table and the Championship 4 drivers enter the “winner-take-all” race tied in the standings.
Cup playoff information provided by NASCAR.
Source: Read Full Article