Comments from eliminated playoff drivers


By Dominic Aragon
October 22, 2017


KANSAS CITY, Kan.—The Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday marked the conclusion of the second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, eliminating four drivers from championship contention.


Out of contention for the MENCS title, the highest the eliminated drivers can finish in driver’s standings is fifth.


KYLE LARSON (-9 POINTS BACK)

Larson entered the race with a 29-point cushion over ninth-place Kyle Busch.


Larson, who started 13th, had issues with the engine in his No. 42 during Stage 1 while running in third-place. He ended up completing 73 laps with a 39th-place finish.


Larson said he knew something was wrong with the motor right away.


“I knew as soon as I felt it, or heard it, I was probably done,” Larson said.


With four races left in the season, Larson told The Racing Experts what his short-term goals are for the rest of 2017.


“Win Homestead,” he said.


MATT KENSETH (-30 BACK)

Kenseth started third, the highest of the eliminated drivers.


The 2003 champion was one of 14 drivers involved in the 14-car crash on lap 198. Kenseth brought his car down pit road for repairs during the caution period.


According to NASCAR officials, Kenseth had one too many members of his crew working on the No. 20 car on pit road following the incident (six is the maximum). He was ultimately parked by NASCAR.


“I don’t know what any of the rules are,” Kenseth said. “Seems like we got a lot of stuff that kind of gets, you know, changed so often I honestly can’t keep up with it.

“My head kind of spins from putting lugnuts out of pit boxes to one to many guys over the wall, you’re not allowed to race anymore.

“I just don’t get it to be honest with you. I really don’t have a lot good to say right now. I’m more than disappointed.”


RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (-46 BACK)

Stenhouse Jr. started the day 23 points behind the playoff cutline.


The Roush Fenway Racing driver was involved in the 14-car crash on lap 198. He finished 29th.


JAMIE MCMURRAY (-48 BACK)
McMurray was one of 14 drivers involved in the lap 198 caution for a crash. Damage from the accident relegated the driver to a 34th-place finish.


“It just looked like the No. 77 (Erik Jones) got loose,” McMurray said. “I saw him and it looked like he over-corrected. And then actually, I didn’t think I was going to hit him and I didn’t have that much contact with him, but someone came through later on and got into me a little bit harder.

“I had a really fast car. I thought we had one of the best cars, and I felt like if we could have gotten to the lead, I could have led the race for a while.

“It was a good Cessna Chevy. But we’ve had two bad races in a row and there’s nothing you can do about it.”



IMAGES
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts


SOURCES Racing-Reference.info Team Chevrolet Toyota Racing

Which driver will finish highest in points?
No. 1 Jamie McMurray
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth
No. 42 Kyle Larson
PollMaker