NASCAR Playoff Recap – Round Of 16, Race 3

NASCAR Playoff Recap - Round Of 16, Race 3

Justin Byers and Noah Ritter

Bristol, TN —

NASCAR turned to the fastest half mile to decide who makes the next round of the playoffs. Kyle Busch (P) is on the outside, looking in, but he has 11 wins here so his hopes are high. It was the no. 10 of Aric Almirola who grabs the Busch pole at a 14.946-second lap, just under 15 seconds. The no. 14 of Chase Briscoe (P) was able to manage 2nd place. No one had an inspection issue and no one had issues at the start. On lap 36, the no. 12 of Ryan Blaney (P) took the lead of the race but on lap 45, the no. 21 of Harrison Burton and the no. 15 of JJ Yeley both blow a right rear tire and hit the wall. This would be the first caution of the race. The no. 6 of Brad Keselowski elects to stay out on this cycle of pit stops and will restart in the lead on lap 50. Trouble would come for the no. 2 when he loses a right front tire when running in 23rd, forcing him to pit under green. The no. 12 of Ryan Blaney (P) also blows a right front tire on lap 92 and the no. 10 spins trying to avoid. This will be the 2nd caution of the race. The no. 6 will restart the race first, still yet to pit. On lap 105, no. 12 starts to drag his rear diffuser He pits on lap 112 to adjust the rear of the car. He would renter the track and continue to drag his diffuser. On lap 120, NASCAR officials would black flag him for “failure to meet minimum speed.” Brad Keselowski wins stage one on lap 125, still yet to make a pit stop. At this stage, caution is the best chance for him to pit. The no. 17 of Chris Buscher would win the race off pit road and will restart stage 2 in 1st. They will restart on lap 134 to start stage 2 the no. 17 of Chris Buscher, leading, will restart on the outside. The no. 4 of Kevin Harvick (P) must win if he wants to advance to the next round restarts on the inside. The no. 17 keeps the lead on the restart but 5 laps later, on lap 139, the no. 21 spins on by the start/finish line after contact with the no. 2 of Austin Cindric (P). During the caution, the no. 19 of Martin Truex Jr. tells his team on the radio he might be having power steering issues and it might be failing. On lap 146, once again, the no. 17 on the outside and the no. 4 on the inside. On lap 175, the no. 45 of Bubba Wallace has white smoke out of the right front wheel and says to his team that the power steering in his car is failing so he will pit. 10 laps later, his teammate Ty Gibbs, in the no. 23, pits under green and the team is looking under the hood. Ty Gibbs also with a power steering issue. It was found that both cars had a leaking power steering fluid. 6 laps later, the battle for the lead between the no. 17 and the no. 4. The no. 4 goes to the bottom of the track but can not pass the no. 17. On lap 196 the no. 21 of Harrison Burton blows a right front tire and slams into the wall as the no. 43 of Erik Jones is trying to avoid the 21, his teammate Ty Dillon makes contact and spins the no. 43 of Erik Jones. No. 19 will go to the garage for his power steering issues. The no. 48 of Alex Bowman (P) and the no. 11 of Denny Hamlin (P) are both saying they are having power steering issues as well. On lap 206, it’s another restart with the no. 17 on the outside and the no. 4 on the inside and the no. 17 will keep the lead for a while but 28 laps later Denny Hamlin (P) loses his right front tire. The cars in the front will pit under this caution, so Christopher Bell (P) will lead on the outside with the no. 14 of Chase Briscoe (P) on the inside but Christopher Bell (P) will keep the lead for 10 laps and wins stage 2. Nos. 1, 14, 18, 3, and 48 all pit under the stage caution, having stayed out 10 laps earlier. William Byron (P), Denny Hamlin (P), Joey Logano (P), and Alex Bowman (P) all lock into the next round of the playoffs on points. Basically, they can park it up for the day and safely advance to the next round. Stage 3 would begin on lap 260 with the no. 20 of Christopher Bell leading. 6 laps into the stage, Ryan Blaney (P) would come out of the garage and rejoin the race, 152 laps down. The 12 team is barely out of the playoffs, looking to collect a few more points from other cars that have crashed. On Lap 270, Championship contender Kyle Busch (P), who recently announced his departure from JGR, would have his 2nd engine failure in the playoffs and would drop him within 4 points of the cutoff line. On lap 277, the no. 20 of Christopher Bell (P) would restart in the first place. The no. 99 of Daniel Suarez (P) would get loose in turn 3 and collect nos. 47, 48, 8, and 3. On lap 289, the no. 8 would return to the race and meet minimum speed. On lap 290, Bubba Wallace would return to the race in an attempt more owner points. The no. 23 of Ty Gibbs would return to the race on lap 317. Eric Jones would blow a right rear tire on lap 352 and the no. 2 would also blow one just 3 laps later. This race is painting a bad light over Goodyear, NASCAR’s tire supplier. On the restart, Christopher Bell (P) would lose a spot on pit road and the 5 car of Kyle Larson would restart in the first place.On lap 388, Brad Keselowski would retake the lead from the 5 car. Tire issues continued for Ford when Joey Logano (P) would blow a tire on lap 397. Christopher Bell (P) would take the race lead back on lap 414 when Brad Keselowski would have a tire failure going down the backstretch. This lead would be short-lived when Bell (P) would have his own tire issue on lap 436. During the caution, the no. 17 of Chris Buscher would take two tires and restart in the first place. Denny Hamlin would lose his wheel and be forced to back up into his pit box. The no. 2 of Austin Cindric (P) would receive the wave around and become tied in the points with Kyle Busch (P). Austin (P) has the tiebreaker and would advance to the next round if he can keep his position on track. On lap 50, the no. 42 would make a pit stop, giving the no. 2 another point, breaking the tie. Austin (P) now has 1 point to play with. On lap 469, the no. 22 of Joey Logano (P) would go to the garage with a mechanical issue but that would do nothing to stop the no. 17 of Chris Buscher who would win the race, ending a 222-race winless streak. He would also end a 191-race winless streak for his team, RFK. Drivers Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, and Kevin Harvick would be eliminated from the playoffs and will not advance to the round of 12. The race would take 3 hours, 1 minute, and 7 seconds to complete. We would have no red flags and an average speed of 88.286 MPH. After last week’s race, the points get reset to 3000, and playoff points are added.

New Point Standings:

  1. Chase Elliott – 3040
  2. Joey Logano – 3025
  3. Ross Chastain – 3020
  4. Kyle Larson – 3019
  5. William Byron – 3015
  6. Denny Hamlin 3013
  7. Christopher Bell – 3013
  8. Ryan Blaney – 3013


9. Chase Briscoe – 3009

10. Alex Bowman – 3007

11. Daniel Suarez – 3007

12. Austin Cindric – 3006

The drivers will travel to Texas for the first race of the Round of 12. Texas is a 1.5-mile quad-oval. The NWS has the temps around the 90s and a 10% chance of rain. The race will start at 3:30 pm EST on USA Network on Sunday, September 25th. Kyle Larson (P) was our past winner here, winning in October of last year. It was here in 2019 when Kyle Busch won a 3-day race here. NASCAR did not adjust the next weekend’s race.