Chris Bucher defeated Bristol as Kyle Bush and Kevin Harvick were eliminated from the playoffs

Chris Boecher, front left, and Kevin Harvick (4) lead the group during the restart in the NASCAR Cup Series car race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 17, 2022, in Bristol, Tennessee.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Chris Boecher, front left, and Kevin Harvick (4) lead the group during the restart in the NASCAR Cup Series car race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 17, 2022, in Bristol, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Late in the game Chris Bucher secured a win in Bristol on Saturday night and it meant the non-playoff drivers swept the first round of the Cup Series qualifiers.

Buescher pitted only two tires on the last pit stop of the night and jumped to the top. Since the tires didn’t show much slowdown as they wore out, Buescher was able to maintain the lead and take his second Cup Series win. Buescher is the 19th winner during the first 29 races in 2022.

With Buescher winning, Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick were eliminated from the playoffs as the field was reduced from 16 to 12 before the second round.

Although the tires weren’t slowing down as they got older, they were failing as they got older. Countless drivers had tire problems over the course of the night. Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski have had tire problems while driving and other drivers like Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney have had problems as well as other drivers.

Saturday night’s race turned into a survival race and avoid mistakes. Several teams also had problems securing the wheels while stopping in the pit. Blaney will definitely face a four-race suspension for his crew chief after a wheel came off and rolled down a pit road after his unscheduled stop due to a tire failure early in the race.

Harvick basically entered the race needing a win to get to round two, but saw that any hopes of winning vanished in the final pit stop when he had to turn back and have his team reattach the left front wheel.

Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman qualified for the second round of qualifying despite being involved in a multi-car crash on lap 276 of the 500 lap race.

How was Kyle Bush eliminated?

Bosch was eliminated from qualifying after his engine exploded halfway into the race. Bosch finished 34th after Bubba Wallace’s 23XI race car returned to the track with mechanical problems.

He overtook Wallace Bosch in the rankings after he got back on track. This could have been vital because Bosch ended up just two points clear of Austin Sendrick in 12th.

Cindric got into that bond with Busch when his teammate Penske Logano hit a pit road for an obvious mechanical problem with 58 laps to go. Lugano had already snatched up in the next round of qualifying and was out of the competition because he had been collapsing with a tire problem earlier. Lugano’s pit stop when his team looked at the right rear of his car allowed Cendrick to pass him in the running order and gain the point he needed to pass Bosch at the time.

The Daytona 500 winner eventually finished more than a tiebreak ahead of Busch and the position he got at Logano and the position Wallace got at Busch didn’t matter. But it was still an odd move for a Toyota driver like Wallace to get back on the track without the possibility of getting a good finish due to fellow Toyota driver Bosch’s precarious position in the points standings and Wallace’s place in the owner’s second qualifying round.

Thanks to his win in Kansas a week ago, Wallace and 23 XI Racing had nothing to gain in the owner’s second round of playoffs by getting Wallace’s car back on track.

Points standings enter the second round

1. Chase Elliott 3040 points

2. Joey Logano, 3025

3. Ross Chastain, 3020

4. Kyle Larson 3019

5. William Byron, 3,015

6. Denny Hamlin 3,013

7. Christopher Bell, 3013

8. Ryan Blaney 3,013

9- Chase Briscoe, 009 3

10. Alex Bowman, 3007

11. Daniel Suarez, 3007

12- Austin Cendrick, 3006

Race results

1. Chris Bucher

2. Chase Elliot

3. William Byron

4. Christopher Bell

5. Kyle Larson

6. Ross Chastain

7. AJ Allmendinger

8. Cool Custer

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Kevin Harvick

11. Michael McDowell

12. Justin Haley

13. Brad Kiselowski

14. Chase Briscoe

15. Cory Lagoy

16. Harrison Burton

17. Cody Wear

18. Todd Gilliland

19. Daniel Suarez

20. Austin Cendrick

21. Eric Jones

22. Landon Castle

23. JJ Yeley

24. PJ McLeod

25. Tyler Riddick

26. Ty Dillon

27. Joey Logano

28. Eric Almerola

29. Bubba Wallace

30. Ryan Blaney

31. Austin Dillon

32. Alex Bowman

33. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

34. Kyle Bush

35. Ty Gibbs

36. Martin Truex Jr.

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