In this sport, timing can win or lose a race. Timing can come when the caution waves, and a fast car is caught a lap down, but makes it up taking a wave-around or the free pass. Timing can be the pit crew, pulling off that fast stop when it mattered most.
On the opposite side, timing can be bad. That fast car could get back on the lead lap, but suddenly be caught in an accident. That pit crew that pulled off a fast stop…it doesn’t matter when the driver speeds, or equipment escapes the box.
Timing is talked about the most when the green flag is about to wave. Specifically it’s reaction time, or how to off-set the competition’s reaction time.
When the final two restarts came, one team first complained about the timing of those in front of him. It meant a good jump for some, but others were questioning the pace. When the final restart came, it was about timing to make the pass. One driver had the line that was best, but another had the will to make the move. The latter was the timing that led to victory.
Kevin Harvick timed the final restart well enough to make the winning pass, and made it around to capture his third win of the season, and securing his spot in the Contender Round.
What his timing didn’t do was time any writer their spot in the next round. Two weeks in a row, not one writer picked a victory in the Chase. However, many experienced strong weeks, and that meant some moves up, while others saw a few moves down, which could be hazardous when it comes time to cut away for the next round.
Here’s the new standings following the Bad Boy Off-Road 300:
Ashley Hull (2098) Brad Keselowski finished 4th – 8 
Ashley Hobbs (2083) Matt Kenseth finished 2nd – 2 
Rob Tiongson (2082) Kyle Busch finished 3rd – 2 
Klarissa Mitchell (2079) Matt Kenseth finished 2nd – 1 
Mary Jo Buchanan (2076) Joey Logano finished 11th – 3 
Ashley McCubbin (2076) Brad Keselowski finished 4th – 2 
Misan Akuya (2072) Denny Hamlin finished 15th – 4 
Sal Sigala Jr. (2071) Jimmie Johnson finished 8th – 2 
Dustin Parks (2071) Kurt Busch finished 5th – 1 
Rob Blount (2065) Joey Logano finished 11th – 4 
Billy Fellin (2061) Joey Logano finished 11th – 3 
Patti Rodisch (2057) Tony Stewart finished 23rd – 3 
Next Race: It’s down to one, at least for the first round. Two drivers already are locked in, and potentially once again a third will be automatically move on into the round of 12. In reality, the round of 12 will get set no matter who takes the checkered flag.
The traditional way this round ends is a return trip to a place that can bite at any moment. A track that can clean up in an instant, while collecting a load of metal at the same time. It’s a place where it is a beast on the track, while a monster lingers at the entrance.
The Challenger Round began at a 1.5-mile speedway, then went flat-track at New Hampshire. Now, a one-mile concrete monster awaits. It is time to make a return to Dover, and the place known as the Monster Mile.
Writers, this is the last chance to win, and with two writers being eliminated, a victory could be the lone way to ensure a chance at a title. Keeping the rules in mind, the deadline is Thursday, September 29, at 10 p.m. ET for picks to win the Citizen Soldier 400.