• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

    Kyle Petty analyzes chances for playoff drivers below the cutline

    ByRacing Guy

    Sep 13, 2023
    Kyle Petty analyzes chances for playoff drivers below the cutline

    With just one race to go in the first round of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the next race will be crucial for the drivers below or close to the cutline.

    The first two races of the playoffs didn’t go well for some of the drivers, particularly Martin Truex Jr. who despite three wins in the regular season looks like won’t make it to the next round. Joining him below the cutline are Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, who won one race each in the regular season, and Bubba Wallace.

    Speaking about these four drivers in particular, Kyle Petty overviewed what happened in the last race.

    “The rest of the field, if you had a P by your name for Playoffs, it meant plenty of trouble,” Petty said. “We saw Martin Truex cut a tire early in the race. We saw Bubba Wallace look like he was going to dominate the race, cut a tire later on. We saw the No. 24, William Byron, a guy that I thought was just going to dominate the entire Playoffs, spin on the backstretch.

    “The No. 20 car of Christopher Bell, and the No. 12 car of Ryan Blaney, have trouble on pit road, and have to recover. So there’s so many things that happened to those guys.”

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    While it is not the end for these drivers as they can still have a good race and have a chance to qualify or win the next race at Bristol to book a spot, Petty is pessimistic regarding their chances. He believes that these four drivers will miss out on the next round.

    “As I look at the Playoffs, I talk about it every year, it’s tough to gain points in this system, it is incredibly easy to lose points in this playoff system,” explained Petty. “As we go into Bristol, we look at Martin Truex. He lost 32 points yesterday. 32 — 32 points! Coming out of Kansas. He’s not going to make up 32 points in Bristol, I can tell you that. We look at Bubba Wallace, he lost 18 points. [Ricky] Stenhouse, loses 18 points. Michael McDowell lost 21 points. I am going to say this, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and I might be the only person in America that believes it, we may have seen this round set at Kansas, because I don’t believe that these four teams can recover that many points at a place like Bristol.

    “We talk about Daytona being a wild card in the regular season, Bristol is the same type place. You get caught up in somebody else’s mess, you’re headed home. These guys may have been headed home from Kansas.”

    Despite the situation, these drivers are certainly going to put up a good fight in the last race of the first round of the 2023 Cup Series playoffs.

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