How was your week

Posted: August 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NASCAR regular season ends tonight in Daytona Beach Florida with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

14 of the 16 playoff spots have been filled. Matt DiBenedetto is currently in the 15th position and William Byron is currently in the final playoff spot. In his final season Jimmie Johnson is 17th in the standings, but he’s just 4 points out of a playoff spot. Will it be these three driver that take the last two playoff spots? Or will it be a driver outside of the playoff race that wins the race and automatically qualify for the playoffs?

If there’s a first time winner tonight DiBenedetto can clinch a playoff spot by picking 51 points in tonight’s race while Byron and Johnson would both need help to clinch a playoff spot. If there’s a repeat winner tonight then DiBenedetto 47 points to get into the playoffs while Byron would need 52 points to qualify for the playoffs.

There are also 17 drivers that could get into the playoffs with a win as well as an 18th driver who would get into the playoffs with a win and a good points day to get into the Top 30. While a driver automatically qualifies for a playoff spot he as to be in the Top 30 points to claim that playoff spot.

Johnson is the sentimental favorite since he’s retiring after this season. He’s a two time Daytona 500 winner with both of those wins coming when he swept both races at this track in 2013. Johnson is a seven time cup champion and tonight he is going to try and get into the playoffs for the 16th time they NASCAR started this format in 2004. Are you rooting for Johnson to win the race and make the playoffs?

Kevin Harvick starts on the poll for tonight’s race. Harvick was awarded the poll using the new formula NASCAR has. He’s how it breaks down: 50% of it comes from your finish in the last race. 35% comes from where you stand in owner pints and the final 15% comes from where your fastest lap from the last race ranked. Harvick just so happened to finish 1st in all of those categories.

Here’s what the rest of the Top 10 looks like. Martin Truex Jr. starts 2nd, Joey Logano starts 3rd, Brad Keselowski starts 4th, Aric Almirola starts 5th; William Byron starts 6th, Jimmie Johnson starts 7th, Alex Bowman starts 8th, Ryan Blaney will start 9th with Denny Hamlin starting 10th.

In last nights Xfinity race teammates worked together and had success doing it to a certain extent.

All three Kaulig racing drivers Justin Haley, Ross Chastain and A.J. Allmendinger where having great success working as a three car team in the draft and towards the end of the race they where sitting 1, 2 and 3. Haley was in the 3rd and was doing a solid job of blocking and holding off the oncome field. Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe managed to dislodge Haley from the 3rd spot and started to make their way to Chastain and Allmendinger. Since Chastain was in 2nd place it now became his responsibility to try to hold off the oncoming field. As Cindric and Briscoe closed in they ended up giving Chastain a big push and instead of protecting Allmendinger he decided that he was going to try and pass him and go for the win. Unfortunately for Kaulig Racing Allmendinger either decided to block Chastain or just pull back in front of him to get to the finish line for the win. In this case Chastain got their to quickly and ended up turning Allmendinger and wrecking both cars. Cindric was also caught up in this last lap crash. Through it all Haley who had been able to get himself back into the draft around 7th or 8th position after he was passed found his way to the finish line and ended up winning the race.

Haley and Chastain who ended up finishing 6th are full time drivers for Kaulig racing while Allmendinger races part time for the team. Chastain alluded to that in his post race comments. “It doesn‘t matter how many races each of us run,” Chastain said referring to Allmendinger‘s part-time schedule. “We‘re supposed to go for the win. Team rules are the last 10 laps and we all stay committed. I hate that Justin go shucked out there with five to go. “But coming to the checkered; what am I supposed to do? Finish second? Not this guy.”

Allmendinger ended up finishing 15th pretty much took the high road in his post race comments. “It‘s the way it is,” Allmendinger said. “I don‘t know. I try to take care of my teammates, but it is what it is and it was going for the win. Ross is going for the championship and going for the win there. I saw him get low and thought maybe he would take care of me a little bit considering I was there. But he‘s going for the win. It is what it is and just disappointing because we were going to have another one-two-three Kaulig finish at Daytona. “It‘s racing. And congratulations to Justin Haley for getting a Kaulig Racing Chevrolet into Victory Lane. That‘s the most important thing.”

It was still a good night for Kaulig Racing as they swept the all stages of last nights race. Haley won Stage 1; Allemendinger won Stage 2 while Haley won the race.

You have to wonder with the success teammates had working together last night if will see that in tonight’s NASCAR. Bryon, Johnson and Bowman start 6th, 7th and 8th; so they’ll have an opportunity to work together right at the start of the race. Of course Byron and Johnson are both racing for one of those two playoff open playoff spots; so you have to wonder how long they’ll work together.

It would seem that teammates like Logano and Keselowski would be interested in working together since they’ve had quite a bit of success do it, but to be fair when it comes down to the end of the race we could see some strange pairings working together.

If you come across this blog before the race starts let me know who you think wins the race. As for me I’ve always liked the underdog in these type of races; so I’m going with John Hunter Nemechek as my pick to win.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast. The podcast airs live on, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to and you can listen any time you want.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime



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