NASCAR Crash Course: Kyle Larson turns his Southern 500 sadness into joy.

NASCAR There is no risk-free 30-day trial or way to ease into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs that would make the initial journey into the season-ending 10-race stretch more relaxing.

nascar, nascar race today, nascar schedule, nascar today, nascar race, nascar news, kyle busch, bubba wallace, danica patrick, chase elliott, daytona 500 lineup 2022, nascar fantasy 2022, daytona truck race 2022, nascar news 2022, nascar coliseum schedule, the clash nascar 2022, nascar playoff schedule 2022, nascar at the coliseum 2022 tickets, daytona 500 drivers 2022, raikkonen 2022,

NASCAR The 16 drivers who spoke with the media during Playoffs Media Day a few days before Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 did so with the customary pre-postseason “I think we have a good shot at it” confidence while also realizing the difficult task that awaited them on the opening weekend. Old, tough Darlington Raceway, which has hosted NASCAR races for all but a few of its 75-year history, lived true to that reputation on Sunday by continuing to be unbeaten.

Late Sunday night, Kyle Larson proved to be the only real tamer of the circuit, securing a spot in the next round of the playoffs with his maiden Darlington victory. Many of his rivals for the NASCAR Cup Series championship learned the significance of the egg-shaped track’s “Too Tough to Tame” moniker. While others chose not participate, some persevered through the hardship to achieve respectable results and lessen the damage.

The 500-mile test on Sunday did not make any distinctions based on prior achievement or experience. Veteran drivers who are used to the difficulties that Darlington’s annual marathon presents were unable to avoid the traps.

Denny Hamlin ruined an otherwise successful day by stopping more than necessary on pit road when a wheel felt like it was coming loose on Darlington’s bumpy surface. He was left to mull over a 25th-place finish despite having led 177 of the 367 laps, the most of anyone.

A team portrait was taken with Kevin Harvick, another driver in his 40s with a track record at Darlington, to mark both his final start at the South Carolina track and his illustrious NASCAR Cup Series career. He entered the race late and appeared ready to write the concluding scene of a classic ending before being defeated by an unfortunate incident.

On Lap 310, Harvick maneuvered his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford into second place and signaled for the pits. Tyler Reddick, a fellow playoff driver, attempted to counter the strategy move by whoosh-ing into Turns 3 and 4. However, the pit-road call from the leader came too late, and Ryan Newman, who was in last place, spun in a last-ditch effort to prevent an accident. Just as Harvick crossed the pit entry line, the yellow flag and lit pit-road lights flashed, and the commitment violation moved him down to 26th in the standings.

The No. 4 radio squeaked, “Unbelievable.” Harvick finished 19th at the finish line.

Martin Truex Jr. should be added to the veteran names to avoid list. NASCAR The regular-season champion got off to a mediocre 31st start and made his own impromptu pit stop on Lap 153. At a track where strong finishes had been common in recent years, he never fully recovered and placed 18th.

At the conclusion of Stage 1, Joey Logano’s two-time champion NASCAR No. 22 Ford was forced into the outside wall by newly minted playoff driver Bubba Wallace, testing the driver’s resiliency as his title defense got underway. Logano struggled back to place 12th as his team made many alterations to attempt and fix the toe.

Christopher Bell took off from the pole position and quickly established a lead, NASCAR but the newly installed pit crew for his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 squad faltered with an early jack drop. After the first stage, he ran into a wall and struggled to keep his damaged car going the rest of the way, finishing 23rd.

NASCAR In total, 10 drivers in the 16-driver playoff field experienced some sort of error, infraction, or bad luck. Consider the risky qualities of Darlington as well as the demanding nature of the playoffs, which requires nearly flawless performance from the driver and crew. In the Southern 500, that accuracy is necessary for nearly four hours or more on a confined stretch of asphalt.

The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App) marks the middle race of the first three races in the round. As the postseason progresses, the 1.5-mile track will become a more covert source of potential playoff trouble because the race it hosted in May was one of its most memorable and exciting in its much shorter existence.

But after Sunday’s playoff opener at Darlington, one of the biggest obstacles on the calendar was overcome, or at the very least tripped over and thrown out of the way. The location was once compared to the venerable Augusta National and called “a heavenly bit of hell” in the same sweep of a six-column broadsheet back in 1977, and it remains an accurate description.

That agonizing ordeal still serves as a Labor Day tradition and a bruising start to the playoffs for drivers who have scraped Darlington’s walls to varied degrees of severity. It remains the promised land for racing aficionados and the spectators that filled Darlington’s grandstands for a third consecutive Southern 500 sellout.

LSU football defeat by FSU, Brian Kelly declares football at LSU to be a “total failure.” There is no disagreement here.
error: Content is protected !!