Team Interstate: Kyle, Carl Advance Amid Talladega Pandemonium
NASCAR fans playfully refer to Talladega as the “wild card” round of NASCAR’s playoffs, and Sunday’s race lived up to the name.
When the smoke cleared after a big wreck on a green-white-checkered finish, Team Interstate’s Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch had advanced to the next round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, while Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth were eliminated from championship contention.
Carl led the team with a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Campingworld.com 500, giving him plenty of points to advance to the next round. Kyle’s path wasn’t nearly as clear.
In the second – or Contender – round of the Chase, 12 drivers battle for eight spots.
Kyle entered the final race of the round sitting six points away from the eighth spot – and his 11th-place finish Sunday driving the No. 18 M&M’s Halloween/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry gave him just enough points to claim that eighth spot and advance to the Eliminator Round, which will begin next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
The crash and ensuing chaos takes a toll on the drivers, no matter what the outcome.
“I’m pretty numb right now. I’m still trying to figure it out,” Kyle said. “I guess we’re eighth and we’ll move on, we’ll see the light of another day. We can be happy about that. This whole M&M’s team, everyone at Toyota, we all deserve it – Joe Gibbs Racing, they deserve it.”
After being wrecked as the leader with just a few laps remaining last week in Kansas, Matt needed to win Sunday’s race to advance to the next round. Denny entered the race with a healthy points cushion, but a problem with his roof hatch forced him to make several unscheduled pit stops and fall two laps behind the leader, leaving him a 37th-place finish.
Watch the wild finish below:
NASCAR: Martinsville Speedway