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NASCAR

Aug 29 - 2020
Read Time 3 Min

NASCAR Cup Playoff Bracket Set After Wild Daytona Race

Saturday, August 29, 2020, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. race side by side at Daytona International SpeedwayNASCAR Cup Playoff Bracket Set After Wild Daytona Race
The NASCAR Playoff grid is locked and set after an intense and wild end to the regular season of the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona international Speedway on Saturday night. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. led the way for Team Toyota with third and fourth-place finishes in the race. 
Saturday, August 29, 2020, Denny Hamlin’s pit crew goes to work on pit road at Daytona International Speedway
When push came to shove, Hamlin looked to be in prime position on the last lap but lost his help in turn three. The Virginia-native reflected on the overtime restart and what could have been. “Just disappointed. I didn’t do a good job. Lack of focus or whatever it is. Not executing. If you have control of a green-white-checkered on a speedway, most of the time the win is going to come from the front row and you have to just make sure you make the right moves and I just didn’t after I took the green,” Hamlin said. “I don’t know what I was doing and I didn’t have a push from the 21 (Matt DiBenedetto) and I was clear of the 24 (William Byron) and just didn’t pull down. I don’t know what I was doing. Disappointing, but I guess we escaped some mayhem, we were in some mayhem. Just a crazy race. Just everyone kind of out there for themselves and all the pushing and shoving and body-slamming and what not. Decent finish, but I hate having control and not finishing.”
Saturday, August 29, 2020, Martin Truex Jr. leads the field at Daytona International Speedway
Martin Truex Jr. showed strength all night and had an up and down race. After being caught in a wreck, the New Jersey-native went for the win, but as his competitors wrecked on the backstretch the 2017 Cup Series champion lost his help coming to the checkered flag. 

Looking ahead to The Playoffs, Truex feels good about the way the No. 19 is preforming. “I feel good about our team and where we’re at and what the guys are doing and the race cars they’re bringing me to the race track,” he said. “I feel like we’ve been right there. I know we should probably have a couple more wins, but just running in the top-three, four, five every week, that’s what it takes to make it to the final four and then have a shot at the championship. That’s what we’ve been doing. Just hope we can keep it going and make everyone on our team proud.”
 
Saturday, August 29, 2020, Christopher Bell walks down pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona
Christopher Bell looked to be in the prime seat as the field took the white flag, chasing former Toyota driver William Byron. The Cup Series rookie pulled to the outside off tun two but got shuffled on the backstretch and crossed the line in the 13th position. 

The entire race was filled with anticipation and intensity which culminated in multiple wrecks towards the end of the event that collected several drivers, including Team Toyota’s Daniel Suárez (26th), Kyle Busch (33rd) and Erik Jones (35th). 

The Playoffs kick off at the track ‘Too Tough To Tame,’ Darlington Raceway, next Sunday evening. Denny Hamlin sits second on the grid, Martin Truex Jr. sixth and Kyle Busch starts NASCAR’s postseason in 14th.

The Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway can be seen on NBCSN, coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. ET and can be heard on MRN Radio as well as SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio.