Every time a round ends and a group of drivers is eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, it becomes more likely that a driver outside of the playoffs wins a playoff race. Beginning this Sunday at Texas, only eight championship-eligible drivers will be in a field that will be made up of around 30 non-playoff drivers. While the eight remaining playoff drivers are still in title contention for a reason — they’re fast and run near the front week-in and week-out — just the fact that roughly two-thirds of the field consists of drivers outside the playoffs gives someone from among this group of drivers a chance to steal some thunder from the playoff boys.
After all, there’s strength in numbers, and the non-playoff drivers will far, far outnumber the playoff drivers who take the green flag on Sunday in Texas. As for non-playoff drivers who could prevail, look no further than Bubba Wallace — a winner two weekends ago at Talladega — and Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher, who finished second and third, respectively, this past weekend on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
I’ve been saying all year that if we can put together a good race without any mistakes or incidents, that I think we can win,” Reddick said. “The ROVAL was another notch in that belt.” Buescher, who is a native Texan, would love nothing more than to score a victory in his home state. “I’m looking forward to heading home to Texas, and we’ll see if we can make that one our first win of the season,” he said.