2022 NASCAR Playoff Recap – Round Of 16, Race 2


Justin Byers and Noah Ritter

Kansas City, KS — NASCAR and its drivers head to Kansas Speedway for the second race of the playoffs. 23XI’s Kurt Busch was the winner back in the spring but is out with a concussion. 23XI called upon Ty Gibbs to race in place of him, but before the playoff started, Bubba Wallace was put in Kurt Busch’s 45, and Ty Gibbs was put in Bubba’s 23. However, it was Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick (P) fastest in practice with a 30.184 second lap time. That practice pace also translated to qualifying when Tyler Reddick (P) smacked his car on pole position with a 29.899 second lap time. This is Tyler Reddick’s (P) 3rd pole position of his career and he is in the driver’s seat for the race. Starting on the pole gives a driver the best chance at winning the race. Joey Logano (P) could manage a 2nd place start. With overnight rain, NASCAR declared a lap 25 competition caution to check tire wear since the rain washed away all the grip from practice, qualifying, and NASCAR’s other series. Tyler Reddick (P) led the field to green, opting for the outside lane. Joey Logano (P) beat Tyler Reddick (P) to turn 1 and he takes the lead in the race. The 48 of Alex Bowman (P) also passes Tyler Reddick (P) and Alex Bowman (P) would take the lead on lap 3. The first caution would come on lap 25 for the competition caution. The no. 8 would win the race on pit road and retake the lead of the race. Nos. 6, 14, and 19 would all be penalized on pit roads for speeding. The no. 11 of Denny Hamlin (P) would also receive a penalty but for equipment interference. On lap 33, the 45 and 1 would battle for 3rd, and coming off turn 4, they would wash up the track in front of Kevin Harvick (P) and Harvick (P) would lose the nose and slam the wall, ending his day. This would be the first time in his career that Harvick (P) has failed to finish 3 races in a row. With Harvick (P) finishing last at Kansas, that puts Harvick (P) 35 points out of the next round. A win locks you in the next round of the playoffs, but the most points you can earn without winning is 55 points. On lap 39, the race would restart and the 8 would continue to lead until lap 66 when his right rear tire failed, sending him into the wall. This would end Tyler Reddick’s day and take him out of a chance of winning this race. He was arguable, the favorite to win today. The 3 car would only take two tires and be the leader on the restart, but that would only last a few inches because the no. 20 cars would pass him for the lead in turn one. By lap 72, the 3 car would have dropped down to 7th, and the no. 20 of Christopher Bell (P) would win stage one on lap 80. During the stage break, the no. 10 would stay out and take the lead for the restart. The no. 34 would take two tires and he will restart second. Christopher Bell (P) is the first driver on four tires in 3rd place. The race would restart on lap 87 as the no. 10 would lead on the outside lane but a lap later Martin Truex Jr’s no. 19 would take the lead. Two laps later, on lap 90, the no. 23 hits the wall after making contact with the no. 7, the no. 23 blew both right side tires and damaged the right side of his car. The no. 10 pits for this caution after he stayed out last caution, the no. 42 also pitted but everyone else stays out. Race restart on lap 96 with the no. 19 leading on the outside and the no. 47 on the inside. On lap 110 the no. 47 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. blows the right rear tire as he was running 2nd before he went into the wall. All lead lap cars elect to pit under this caution and 3 playoff teams, Austin Dillion (P), Kyle Busch (P), and Daniel Suarez (P), all have equipment interference penalties and are going to be penalized to the tail end of the longest line. The no. 19 of Martin Truex Jr. pits again for a loose left rear wheel. He will also restart in the back. Restart on lap 115 as the no. 24 of William Byron (P) leads on the outside and the no. 48 on the inside. Towards the back of the pack, last week’s winner, Eric Jones makes contact with the no. 21 of Harrison Burton and no. 7 of Corey Lajoie. The no. 10 of Aric Almirola spins and hits the wall. The no. 21 and no. 7 also slide into the wall. The no. 18 of Kyle Busch (P) will pit to make adjustments as he was already in the back. On lap 121 another restart and once again the no. 24 leads on the outside and the no. 48 on the inside. The no. 48 of Alex Bowman will take the lead. One lap later, the no. 14 of Chase Briscoe (P) lost a hood pin at some point during the race, causing his hood to be flappy. He will pit to get a replacement hood pin. On lap 138, the no. 18 of Kyle Busch (P) spins off turn 4 and blows both right side tires as he slides into the grass. The no. 48 of Alex Bowman will keep the lead on the restart and keep it for 21 laps to win stage two. The no. 48 of Alex Bowman (P) retained the lead on pit road and will restart stage three in 1st place. The no. 45 of Bubba Wallace will restart in 2nd place. The no. 45 will run 2nd until lap 201 when he dived to the bottom of the track and took the lead. The race would run green flag the rest of the race and it was 23XI’s Bubba Wallace, in Kurt Busch’s no. 45, who crossed the line first. This is the 18th different winner in 2022. Bubba Wallace is not in the NASCAR playoffs so he is the 2nd non-playoff driver to win a race in the playoffs. After this race, Christopher Bell is the only playoff driver who is locked in on points into the round of 12. In the race, we had 9 cautions for 43 laps, 0 red flags, and 16 lead changes among 12 different drivers. The time of the race was 3 hours, 10 minutes, and 3 seconds. The average speed of the race was 126.44 miles per hour. 

Current Point Standings:

  1. Christopher Bell – 2,108 (+58)
  2. William Byron – 2,098 (+48)
  3. Denny Hamlin – 2,097 (+47)
  4. Joey Logano – 2,090 (+40)
  5. Ryan Blaney – 2,086 (+36)
  6. Alex Bowman – 2,080 (+30)
  7. Chase Elliot – 2,078 (+28)
  8. Kyle Larson – 2,077 (+27)
  9. Ross Chastain – 2,076 (+26)
  10. Daniel Suarez – 2,056 (+6)
  11. Tyler Reddick – 2,052 (+2)
  12. Austin Cindric – 2,052 (+2)


13. Kyle Busch – 2,050 (-2)

14. Austin Dillon – 2,049 (-3)

15. Chase Briscoe – 2,043 (-9)

16. Kevin Harvick – 2,017 (-35)

The final race of the Round of 16 is Saturday, September 17th at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Bass Pro Shops Bristol Night Race. You can watch the race on USA Network starting at 7:30 pm EST. The National Weather Service has a temperature of around 57 degrees and a low chance of rain in Thunder Valley. Bristol Motor Speedway is a 0.533 concrete oval and was built in 1960. Kyle Larson (September 18, 2021) is our most recent winner.