As the temperatures begin cooling off, the days get shorter, and darkness falls in the early evening, it is a signal that the season is coming to a close. NASCAR a year ago had to truly improvise a lot of the weekends, trying to get all the races in at a decent time when also having to deal with new procedures for teams each week. Some have gotten used to it, others found it to be difficult.
What hasn’t changed is when the Playoffs get into this particular round, with only eight drivers in competition for four spots, this is when desperation becomes intensified.
Everyone remembers what happened between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski in 2014, when one incident on track, led to an altercation on pit road. Although, that altercation actually also got instigated with a slight shove by one Kevin Harvick, something that seems to have become a theme during this playoff run. We saw desperation come from Harvick last year with one race remaining to make the title race, and that ended with him in the wall, and short of a championship opportunity.
Already with one race in the Round of 8, we know who is competing for a title, an opportunity to have a career come full circle after seeing it abruptly come to an end when the season was on hiatus. Now, the opportunity for the ultimate comeback is set.
Now, NASCAR hits the center of the country, the second-to-last race of the 2021 season that has seen unexpected winners, new teams trying to get respect, and some drivers wondering why their success from a season ago never translated to this year.
Some teams saw long-time sponsors leave in the middle of the year, others announced new teams for 2022, and everyone is still trying to get ready for the next change in vehicles for the new season. Yet, this year is not done, and still three spots remain in the championship four.
We now must dust off the great plains of Kansas, a track that is no stranger to having some controversy and chaos. From a dump and run by Logano, to the track actually weeping from underneath, even the Wicked Witch has to be wondering what she can do to cause trouble.
The Round of 8 officially hits Tornado Alley.