It’s NASCAR Playoffs time once again and the fellas from TehBen, The Slow Restart, and MotorMax are back to share our picks for the first three rounds. Check out Matt’s official picks for the Final 4 below. Whoever amongst the three of us pick the final 4 most accurately will host the combined article just before the Phoenix finale! Let’s get right to it with the Round of 16!
Round of 16: Darlington, Kansas, Bristol
While most of the season for me has been spent tracking all the different winners, of which we’ve had 16 so far, I haven’t given much thought as to what might happen when the Playoffs begin. Truth be told I don’t even have that much excitement about the Playoffs this year. We just experienced the best package of 26 regular season races we’ve ever had in the Playoff era and I wasn’t quite ready to give that up. But if we must, I’ll be ready to march ever forward as we start with one of the best races on the calendar at Darlington. All three races play well into the hands of those near the top of the points handicap and while both Darlington and Bristol CAN produce miracle winners, I think we will start to see the cream rise a little more predictably in the first round.
DRIVERS OUT: Dillon, Cindric, Briscoe, Bowman
Round of 12: Texas, Talladega, Charlotte Roval
Texas, which had a very lackluster all-star event will need to deliver quite a show to win back a large part of the fanbase. Moreover, given the quality of most every other race on the schedule Texas is just about out of excuses. Anyway, this round has two absolute wild card races and someone still hanging around at the bottom of the board could zap a favorite right out of the mix. Basing this on nothing but a whim, I think Daniel Suarez could be that special someone to advance one extra round and send someone like Kyle Busch packing earlier than expected.
DRIVERS OUT: Kyle Busch, Bell, Byron, Harvick
Round of 8: Las Vegas, Homestead, Martinsville
It’s funny how much difference one year can make. Looking at these three races it’s hard to fathom that Martinsville has the most to prove, but that’s how it looks as we sit today. After extensive testing and analysis I’m confident the fall Martinsville race will furnish a better article of racing than the spring event, but passing may still be at a premium. If Tyler Reddick can survive to this round, and if the tension between he and RCR hasn’t boiled over into total chaos, Reddick has a very solid chance of punching through to Phoenix before getting fired in victory lane Stroker Ace style. Deserving Championship drivers get sent packing in this round every year, and given the way we’ve been trading wins back and forth amongst the field we could be in for a big surprise.
DRIVERS OUT: Suarez, Chastain, Logano, Blaney
TehBen.com’s Final Four NASCAR Cup Series picks: Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick
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