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Three Playoff drivers out early in Cook Out Southern 500

Three NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers found issues before the end of Stage 2 in Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

Michael McDowell crashed on the backstretch on Lap 32 in a wreck that took him out of the race.

In almost the exact same spot, Kyle Busch crashed on Lap 126 after making contact with Austin Dillon.

Later in the race, on Lap 201, William Byron blew a right-front tire entering Turn 1 and hit the wall hard. Byron was OK but he was knocked out of the race.

Byron had issues earlier in the race during a Lap 17 incident with teammate Alex Bowman. Both of them continued after the incident.

Byron, Busch and McDowell will finish 34th, 35th and 37th respectively.

Three Playoff drivers out of the Playoff opener is the most since 2018 when four of the 16 Playoff drivers were knocked out of the opener, which was held at Las Vegas. All four DNFs were crash-related then too.


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