Spin And Win? Playoff Parity? A Look At The Cup Playoffs At Midway Point

It’s hard to believe, but we’re at the midway point of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Five races down, five to go. So far, this has also been a wild postseason in terms of overcoming in race miscues.

Martin Truex Jr. was spun by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the closing laps of the penultimate race of the opening round at Richmond and still was able to rebound and celebrate in victory lane for his second win in a span of six days. A week later, Chase Elliott got into the first turn too hot on mid race restart on the Charlotte ROVAL and despite being in the race lead at the time, he went straight into the tire barriers. He’s come back and win the race outright not long after.

Martin Truex Jr. is spun by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. late in the playoff race last month at the Richmond (VA) Raceway

Then, Ryan Blaney spun while getting onto pit road on his opening pit sequence this past weekend in Talladega. He too was leading at the time. Blaney, would escape the typical Talladega carnage throughout the rain delayed event and end up celebrating in victory lane for the first time in over a year.

That’s three of the last four races that have seen a race leader end up spinning/crashing then coming back to win later on. Will it happen again over the next five weeks?

It’s going to be harder and harder to make up for the mistakes. Now that we’re on the verge of eliminating four more drivers for championship contention on Sunday, any more errors during any given race weekend will be amplified.

I mean, just look at the parity thus far. No one is really standing out as a front runner.

Sunday will mark the sixth race of the 2019 Cup Series postseason. So far, we’ve had five different winners from five different teams including four straight of such.

Truex Jr. went back-to-back to start the playoffs off in his No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. He won at both Las Vegas and Richmond in the first round. But, from Richmond on, we’ve had a new race winner each week from a completely new organization.

Elliott in his No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports won the next week in the Round of 16 cutoff race on the Charlotte ROVAL. Larson in his No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing was victorious a week later in Dover. On Monday, Blaney won the rain delayed 1000Bulbs.com 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in his No. 12 Ford for Team Penske.

If trends are going to hold true, then expect a playoff driver to win Sunday’s race at the Kansas Speedway and expect that driver to be either Kevin Harvick or Clint Bowyer. They’re the only one left to keep this going as he nor Stewart-Haas Racing has won a race this postseason.

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