Easter Sunday night’s race on the Bristol dirt gave us yet another unexpected ending and memorable finish. At the white flag the two drivers going for the win shouldn’t have been too surprising as the highly dirt experienced Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe had a great battle for the last handful of laps. After a last corner move from Chase Briscoe struck Reddick in the left rear, the two were sent spinning and Kyle Busch nabbed the surprise victory in a way we could only expect from NASCAR’s most popular antagonist.
While Kyle Busch shouldn’t be a surprise winner in the grand scheme of things after securing career Cup win #60, the 2022 campaign hasn’t been too impressive for either he or the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. As we look to the Tracking 16 Playoff chart, the 8th different winner in 9 Cup races tightens the Playoff outlook even further.
Kyle Busch moves from the “should” column to become the 8th different winner, leaving only 7 winner spots open with 17 races left to play before the Playoff cut. I say 7 as we’re now going to consider the regular season point champion into our proceedings. Chase Elliott holds the regular season point lead and should he retain that without winning a race, he’d be given an automatic Playoff berth.
Two other updates to the chart. First, Ty Dillon moves from the Wild to the Might column as it seems the second Petty GMS team is putting together some decent runs. Also, drivers 31st or lower in the overall points are not considered Playoff eligible and are now highlighted orange. Brad Keselowski only just moved up to 29th in points after the major points penalty the team incurred, and will be one of the teams to focus on going into Talladega.
Our 2nd traditional Super Speedway race at Talladega could very well shake up the chart even further. Drivers with strong Talladega performances like Almirola, Keselowski, and Bubba Wallace may see their chart placement change as their win likelihood may take a serious dent if they can’t score the W.
Catch the Talladega NASCAR Cup race on Sunday 4/24 at 2:30 pm on Fox
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