Mother Nature wreaked havoc on Daytona International Speedway, both tonight and today, for the Coke Zero Sugar 400… the final race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season.
With two playoff spots available (after Kurt Busch removed himself from contention due to ongoing concussion symptoms), the options were pretty simple for any trying still vying for a spot… win and you’re in.
After a lengthy rain delay, Austin Dillon punched his ticket to the playoffs with his first win of the season, leaving Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr., both sitting top five in points, fighting for the final spot.
And despite Ryan Blaney limping his way across the finish line after an early wreck, enough cars crashed out of the race to give him a slight edge on Martin Truex Jr., who finished the race in 8th.
And just like that, Martin Truex Jr. will not be making the playoffs, despite finishing the regular season 4th in points (Blaney finished 3rd in points), and being one of the most consistent drivers all season long.
Needless to say, NASCAR fans sounded off on the “win and you’re in” format:
NASCAR just proved why their playoff format is the worst thing motorsport has ever seen. Martin Truex Jr, who is SECOND in the standings with no wins, gets knocked out of title contention because someone 19th in the standings wins a lottery race where nobody finishes. What a joke
So Truex misses out even though he's currently 6th in the points, & yet a driver in 19th gets locked in? Absolutely goes to show that this shitty playoff format doesn't work, never had, never will. This is also why I can't take NASCAR seriously these days 🤷♂️ https://t.co/2QZoHl6D9k
I’ll say this AGAIN…. @NASCAR for the love of all your remaining fans, get rid of the “Win and in” rule to make playoffs. Make finishing consistently a reward again instead of being FORCED to win to get in….. good freaking God truex got screwed
Fuck “The Playoffs”. I’m not a Truex fan but letting 16 teams in based solely on wins while having garbage seasons is ridiculous. I’m fine with a “Chase” but only let the teams that deserve it in. Absolutely pathetic format, NASCAR should be ashamed. Absolute bullshit.
+208 and Martin Truex Jr is out anyway because of a system that sucks, NASCAR evidently can’t make rain caution calls that wreck the field…..Austin Dillon can’t win without fucking someone over….. pic.twitter.com/DXDfnnTuZR