Anyone who visits Las Vegas has one idea in mind…win big. More often than not, they may not win big, but either break even, return with a bit more than they previously had, or lost a lot and didn’t know when to stop.
For those that had the green spoiler, windshield decal, and splitter, it seemed as though luck was not on their side.
At the end of 267 laps, nearly 75 percent of the playoff field had to deal with some kind of issue. Whether tires, hitting the wall, caught up in accidents, or anything else that could happen in a race to cause trouble, 11 of 16 Playoff contenders found themselves having some sort of event to hinder their run to the front.
Yet in the end, one man hit the jackpot, took home a win, and cashed out to lock into the second round.
That man is familiar to many, considering the last two weeks, it was he that began celebrating in victory lane with a Miller in hand, although as hot as Las Vegas was on Sunday, a beer may not have been the best idea. Deuce was wild this day, and Brad Keselowski is the newest man to have three wins in a row. His third one means he will be the first man officially in the Round of 12.
What is surprising is not one individual in the League was thinking of a 3-peat. Instead, a few of them went with momentum, and it cost them dearly. Things are now mighty interesting at the top as some rose up, some faltered, and others find themselves in a very unique position.
Here’s the updated playoff standings following the South Point 400:
Penny Whitecotton – 2064 – Kevin Harvick finished 39th (7) 54
Trisha Rodisch – 2064 – Ryan Blaney finished 5th (5) 29
Billy Fellin – 2063 – Kurt Busch finished 21st (4) 31
Ashley Hobbs – 2061 – Ryan Blaney finished 5th (5) 26
Dustin Parks – 2061 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd (1) 10
Sal Sigala Jr. – 2059 – Kyle Larson finished 2nd (4) 23
Misan Akuya – 2059 – Kyle Larson finished 2nd (4) 23
Rob Tiongson – 2058 – Kyle Larson finished 2nd (4) 22
Rob Blount – 2038 – Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (2) 16
Next Race: The way things looked for a majority of the playoff drivers at the end of Vegas, it seemed as though it was a short track, or a major car accident that could happen on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Maybe it is appropriate that the playoffs now include a pair of short tracks, and those drivers that have gotten off to a rough start now can take out some aggression. What was the final race before the playoffs has now become a critical race in the first round. It may not have originally been a perfect setup, but it’s close enough to perfect for everyone.
It’s a trip to Virginia to compete at Richmond for the lone Saturday night delight of the playoffs.
League, we are still under the required rules, so your picks from Vegas are officially unable to be used again this week. It’s time to secure a different set of picks by Thursday, September 20, at 10 p.m. ET for the Federated Auto Parts 400.