nascar-texas-motor-speedway-recap-2022

NASCAR Texas Motor Speedway Recap

Story posted September 28, 2022 in

This past weekend NASCAR made a stop at the famed Texas Motor Speedway for a race that was filled with crashes and controversy. This high-stakes playoff race has ruffled some feathers in the past but that was nothing compared to Sunday’s race.

One of the biggest stories to come out of this race were the penalties issued to playoff driver William Byron and substitute driver Ty Gibbs. Byron was penalized after he spun fellow playoff driver Denny Hamlin under caution. This move was not initially penalized during the race which drew sharp criticism from many fans.

NASCAR handed William Byron a stern penalty after the race on Sunday which included a 25-point penalty and $50,000 fine. This penalty dropped Byron from third to tenth in the point standings before Sunday’s race at Talladega. Gibbs was handed a $75,000 penalty for swerving into Ty Dillon on pit road.

The race was also marred by several accidents which, for a second week in a row, were mainly caused by Goodyear tires. These accidents were highlighted by Cody Ware’s vicious hits into the turn four wall and pit road wall. Ware was taken to a hospital following the crash but was not seriously injured. NASCAR did have to make repairs to the pit road wall after the incident.

Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell were some of the key contenders to fall victim to the Goodyear tire issues during the race. Truex was leading when his tire popped, ending his day. Bell had two tire issues on the day which severely impacted his playoff chances which makes Talladega a crucial race for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

Another theme throughout the race was the ever changing weather and how it affected the track. Stage three was halted for a significant period of time after a thunderstorm hit the track and soaked it. The rain effectively cooled the track off by approximately 20 degrees, a huge change for drivers to adapt to on tires that had already proven to be sketchy.

After the red flag, Tyler Reddick took charge of the race. Reddick, who had been eliminated from the playoffs in the Round of 16, led for most of the last 112 laps. Reddick took a commanding 1.3 second lead over Joey Logano in the last laps to collect his second win of the season and his career.

After all that turmoil, it should come as no surprise that the playoff standings saw a huge shakeup. First off, no drivers automatically advanced to the next round as a non playoff driver won. Logano and Ross Chastain are currently leading the points standings and have a 37 and 25 point cushion respectively. Meanwhile on the cutoff line, it’s a three-way battle for the final spot between Chase Briscoe (+7), Austin Cindric (-7) and Byron (-8).

Texas might have shaken up the playoff standing pretty heavily but that’s nothing compared to what Talladega has the potential to do this Sunday with the possibility of  “The Big One.”

 

Ethan Ellis is a second-year student studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email ece5133@psu.edu.