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Four Playoff drivers eliminated after Bristol Night Race

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 19: William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, is embraced by crew crew chief Chad Knaus in the garage after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 19, 2020 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – At the conclusion of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Bristol Night Race, four drivers were eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

The drivers eliminated were as follows: Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney, William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto.

Blaney finished the highest of the four drivers, ending the race in 13th. However, Blaney finished two laps down and spent much of the night a lap or more down, with handling issues and no stage points scored. Blaney entered Saturday night 27 points behind the cutline and finished the night 37 points behind.

DiBenedetto finished 19th but was running seventh on the final restart after a caution fell during green flag pit stops. DiBenedetto received the wavearound, which put him in seventh, but he had to pit under green flag conditions when a caution did not fly. DiBenedetto entered Saturday night 25 points behind the cutline and finished the night 41 points behind.

Custer’s first Playoff appearance ended with a 23rd place finish at Bristol Saturday night. Custer was a non-factor for much of the night and failed to score stage points, much like DiBenedetto and Blaney. Custer entered the night eight points behind the cutline and finished the night 28 points behind.

The only driver eliminated from the Playoffs who scored stage points was William Byron. Byron finished eighth in stage one and ran well for much of the night, until a lap 234 wreck involving him and Christopher Bell took him out of the race and the Playoffs. Byron entered the night three points behind the cutline and finished 33 behind.

The eliminated drivers are still in contention for as high of a points finish as fifth place.

The remaining Playoff drivers will be seeded as follows for the Round of 12, starting at Las Vegas next Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; TV: NBCSN, Radio: PRN):

Kevin Harvick 3,067
Denny Hamlin 3,048
Brad Keselowski 3,035
Joey Logano 3,022
Chase Elliott 3,021
Martin Truex Jr. 3,016
Alex Bowman 3,009
Austin Dillon 3,005
Aric Almirola 3,005
Kyle Busch 3,004
Clint Bowyer 3,004
Kurt Busch 3,001


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