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Keselowski, 14 others vying for final 2 NASCAR playoff spots

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Brad Keselowski likes his probabilities at Daytona Worldwide Speedway, which is considerably unusual contemplating his current outcomes on the famed monitor.

Keselowski has crashed eight occasions in his final 11 begins on the superspeedway and completed worse than thirtieth six occasions. He’s hardly the one unfortunate one at Daytona, the place uncommon winners and odd top-10s are as frequent as three-wide racing and multicar wrecks.

So possibly Keselowski ought to really feel assured heading into Saturday night time’s regular-season finale, the place the 2012 Cup Collection champion and 14 others are vying for the ultimate two playoff spots.

“It goes with out saying, however this race goes to be wild,” Keselowski stated. “I informed the workforce that if I might be one of many final 10 automobiles left on the final restart, we’ll have a shot and that’s about all you may ask for, particularly in the sort of situation.

“We all know now we have pace and really feel actually good about our probabilities. We simply want every little thing to align to make it occur.”

In his first yr as a driver/proprietor at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Keselowski wants a victory to make the postseason for the tenth consecutive yr. It’s the longest streak of anybody outdoors the present playoff subject.

Aric Almirola, Chris Buescher, Harrison Burton, Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Todd Gilliland, Justin Haley, Erik Jones, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Bubba Wallace are the opposite do-or-die guys.

Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are the one drivers who haven’t but locked up playoff spots and might make it with out profitable at Daytona. Not less than one is assured to get in. Blaney gained the exhibition All-Star Race and sits third in factors, 143 behind regular-season champion Chase Elliott. Truex leads the collection in stage wins and ranks sixth in factors.

If Blaney or Truex wins at Daytona, the opposite robotically will get in on factors. If a driver already locked into the postseason lands in victory lane, each Blaney and Truex would make the 16-driver subject primarily based on factors. If there’s one other new winner Saturday, whoever ends the night time with extra factors between Blaney and Truex would advance.

It’s just a little sophisticated and but considerably easy. Both manner, it ought to lead these on the surface wanting in to take extra probabilities than regular.

“I believe the top might be very chaotic,” defending collection champ Kyle Larson stated. “Clearly you need to get to the top to have a shot to win. I don’t know if the primary couple of phases will likely be that loopy. I don’t know what’s going by way of different drivers’ minds, guys who’re in place that they should win to make the playoffs.”

THE FRONT-RUNNERS

Regardless of failing to win a race, Blaney and Truex have been two of the extra constant automobiles all season and got help Thursday when Kurt Busch announced he would miss the start of NASCAR’s playoffs with concussion-like symptoms which have sidelined him for six weeks. His workforce, 23XI Racing, withdrew the medical waiver that was holding Busch’s postseason spot.

The choice meant Blaney and Truex are not racing one another for the ultimate spot. Now each might get in.

“To me, the technique at Daytona is to only attempt to keep up entrance as a lot as attainable or as near the entrance as you may and hope that when the large crash occurs, it’s behind you,” Truex stated. “As a lot of a wild card race as that is, I believe we’ll have a very good shot at profitable and it’d be a good time to get our first superspeedway win with every little thing on the road. It’d be fairly a narrative.”

Blaney wants 31 factors to clinch a playoff spot and will do it through the race. If he scores no stage factors, he would want to complete sixth or higher.

THE WILD CARDS

Almirola (2014), Stenhouse (2017), Austin Dillon (2018 Daytona 500), Jones (2018), Haley (2019) and McDowell (2021 Daytona 500) have a Cup victory at Daytona. And Wallace has run about in addition to anybody at Daytona, ending runner-up final August and once more in February.

Like Keselowski, all of them ought to really feel they’ve a shot.

“Anyone who’s high 30 in factors can win that race,” Kyle Busch stated. “We’ve seen Entrance Row Motorsports win. We’ve seen Spire win. We’ve seen groups that don’t usually win races be capable to rating victories within the speedway races, in order that simply heightens the anxiousness degree for everyone. …

“You’ve received to be good, however there’s nonetheless lots of luck concerned.”

ODDS AND ENDS

Elliott is the 10-1 betting favourite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, simply forward of Wallace, Blaney and Denny Hamlin. These three are every 12-1. Larson and Joey Logano are 13-1 decisions. … The 37-car subject contains 14 earlier winners in 2022, 15 guys vying for the ultimate two playoff spots, 5 drivers ineligible for the Cup postseason as a result of they’re getting factors in one other collection and three guys already eradicated: Corey LaJoie, David Ragan and Cody Ware.

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Extra AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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