How Many Playoff Drivers Does It Take to Finish a NASCAR Race?

Illustration for article titled How Many Playoff Drivers Does It Take to Finish a NASCAR Race?
Photo: Isaac Brekken (AP)

The answer? Not many, apparently.

The NASCAR playoffs have officially kicked off this Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s South Point 400, and it was less a race to win than it was a race to the finish for the sixteen drivers competing for the championship at the end of the season.


Out of those sixteen drivers, nine of them crashed. Nine! You can check out some of the carnage below:


Yeah. Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick were all victims to the playoffs stress. The race saw a red flag to be able to clean up the mess and kick things off for a two-lap shootout to the end.

That’s bad news for the guys hunting down a championship—but it definitely made for one hell of a race for the fans.


Maybe all those emojis on the side of the cars threw off the balance. (Or, y’know, that Las Vegas heat and the ridiculous tire situation. (I personally would like to blame the emojis.))

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


Scott the Stagehand

The track was too hot for a race during the day in September.I am a little surprised they did not make it a night race.