Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford led just 32 of the 367 laps in the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, taking command when Chase Elliott and Martin Truex, Jr. collided in a contest for the lead with 15 laps left. His eighth victory of the season was his third at the historic 1.366-mile track and the 57th of his Cup Series career. The win also provided him an automatic berth in the Round of 12, Harvick is “staying alive”, the next three-race bracket in the 10-race postseason.
Austin Dillon placed a strong second, with his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet just .343 seconds behind at the drop of the checkered flag. Joey Logano landed in third place with Erik Jones fourth and William Byron completing the top-five finishers.
Truex led 196 laps and swept the stage wins, adding a pair of playoff points to his total, but wound up 22nd after hitting pit road two laps after contact with Elliott and the wall. Elliott led 115 laps and finished 20th.
All three Team Penske drivers ran into trouble at points of the 500-miler, but Logano recovered best. Ryan Blaney started at the rear of the field after a pre-race penalty for improperly mounted ballast on the No. 12 Ford, an infraction that also cost him 10 points in the standings and the loss of crew chief Todd Gordon. Travis Geisler, the organization’s competition director, filled in as interim crew chief. Blaney finished 24th.
Brad Keselowski scraped the wall in the opening stage, but came back to finish 11th in Penske’s No. 2 Ford. Logano’s No. 22 Mustang sustained damage in a stack-up at the start of the final stage, but he rallied for a top-five result.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
To end the 2nd segment we had four (4) players that strategically stowed away in the cockpit, and in the truck I assume, of Kevin Harvick’s Bush Beer No. 4 Mustang. I am just guessing, but I’ll bet that it was probably pretty congested and extremely loud in both of those compartments during the race! Those four players rooting on Freaky Fast Harvick consists of Snoopy Dawn, Jeremy The Coach, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit and lastly our resident accountant, Dan The Numbers Cruncher. Each player added 49 points to their 2nd segment totals.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
The second highest scoring group consists of a duet of wide varied backgrounds. The Florida based Carlton The Doorman and the Central California grounded Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head teamed up to back The Delivernator for his run at Darlington Speedway. Denny Hamlin had a couple of great runs towards the front during the 367 lap race, however, he was not able to grab the checkered flag Sunday and hoist the hardware. Notwithstanding that fact, he was able to deliver 40 points to both The Doorman and The Cheddar Head!
There were two players who were rooting loud and proud for the 2020 Cup Champion, the winless and whining ol Rowdy. Even though Kyle Busch did not post a victory at Darlington on Sunday, he did deliver 37 much needed points to both Jim, aka Chiefy and Carole, aka
Following the above mentioned duet on the scoring pylon, and rounding out the the scorers for this week, is a widely diverse trio of players who were fully supportive of William Clyde Elliott, Jr. That trio consists of Linda The Cookie Mom, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, and of course yours truly, Leon Your Benevolent and Most Humble Sheriff. Each of these players logged 25 points for their final score for the 2nd segment from Chase Elliott’s up and down race race at Darlington.
Moving on to discuss the movement from within the fantasy league. Only the bottom five players, positions 7-11 , changes zip codes this week. Of major notice this week was Jeremy The Coach. The Coach was the biggest mover climbing up two (2) places after Darlington to finish out the second segment in 9th position.
The remaining four players, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff, as well as Linda The Cookie Mom all moved next door to their former resting places. La Bandita climbed up one (1) position to finish out the segment in 7th place. However the remaining three, The Vegas Super Star, The Sheriff, and The Cookie Mom all ended this segment on a down note, falling one spot to sit in 8th, 10, and 11th, respectively!
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
When the checkered flag waved at Darlington it signaled, for The Redneck Fantasy League, the end to this stretched out 2nd segment! Additionally, looking at the scores posted from Darlington, all players had a reasonably good race. However having made that statement, somebody has inherit The Crappiest Pick of The Week award. For the last race of the 2nd segment that award gets shared by three of our illustrious players, Linda The Cookie Mom, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, and Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff. Those three players deposited the fantasy league low score of 25 points and gets to share The Crappiest Pick of The Week award!!
Lastly, Linda The Cookie Mom completes her nose dive for this segment by plunging deeply into The Outhouse just in time to end the segment number 2!
Next week, beginning on Thursday evening, all three racing series will invade Henrico County, VA, better known as Richmond Raceway.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!