End of the Road for Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell and Tyler Reddick in Playoff Race

Published 09/20/2021, 4:43 AM EDT
Sep 27, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (1) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Following the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Bristol Motor Speedway, the first Playoff round is complete. Sadly, the bottom four drivers in the Top 16 have to be eliminated from the runnings. So, poor Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, and Michael McDowell became the unlucky drivers, and their journeys have ended.

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Apparently, all four drivers struggled throughout the race and couldn’t make much progress.

Reddick said, “We certainly gave up more than two spots over the course of this first round. Darlington, getting stuck down a lap at Richmond. Not just one key opportunity, but there was a number that was the difference. The situation tonight doesn’t really stick out as the one that makes it sting.

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“It was just unfortunate getting to the playoffs. We don’t really have the pace that we had to just point our way into the playoffs leaderboard.”

What happened to Tyler Reddick, Almirola, Kurt Busch, and McDowell?

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During the race, the four drivers witnessed their days falling apart as they looked on helplessly. Reddick was forced to make a second pit stop, owing to a loose lug nut on the right rear tire. This dropped him all the way down to 26th place, despite finishing the second stage in ninth. Due to that, Reddick had no choice but to try and pull off a comeback. Eventually, he finished in 12th place, which was not enough to unseat William Byron for the final transfer spot.

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 16: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #2 Tame the Beast Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Reddick tied with Aric Almirola, meaning that he was also two points adrift of Byron. According to reports, the Stewart-Haas driver encountered a leaky oil line, which caused his car to smoke. This bundled him all the way down in 27th until the team fixed the issue. He came as high as 12th until his car’s pace faded and he eventually finished 18th.

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Meanwhile, Kurt Busch had issues with his car’s handling and finished 19th. This put him six points shy of William Byron, so he also lost out in the end. Finally, Michael McDowell was the most vulnerable, as he needed to win to advance, but could only muster 24th.

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Dhruv George

12143 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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