NASCAR Playoff Drivers Have Issues as Erik Jones Takes #43 Back to Victory Lane at Darlington [VIDEO]

The NASCAR Playoffs started with many issues for Playoff drivers. Erik Jones took advantage of the situation to take the iconic #43 car back to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway.

The 10-race post-season in the NASCAR Cup Series started with a 500-mile race that is one of the longest on the clock of the year. Playoff drivers started the race looking like the class of the field, as they really should. William Byron claimed the win in stage one. Kyle Busch not only claimed the win in stage two, but also led the most laps in the race at 155 laps out front.

However, both of those playoff drivers as well as Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Chase Briscoe and other Playoff drivers would have issues that took them out of contention for the win.

Eric Jones was able to take the lead following the final re-start of the race following the 9th caution period. He held the lead for the final 23 laps to claim the win in the Cook Out Southern 500. Erik becomes the 17th different driver to win a race in the 2022 Cup Series season. He plays spoiler to the 16 Playoff drivers preventing any of them from earning an automatic advance to the next round of the post-season. The win gives the iconic #43 car driven by NASCAR Legend Richard Petty its 200th win. The win is Erik’s second win at Darlington in the Cup Series.

Denny Hamlin places the highest of the Playoff drivers with a second-place finish. Playoff drivers Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano and Christopher Bell finish in 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. See the complete race results for the Cook Out Southern 500 here.

Leaving Darlington Raceway Joey Logano sits at the top of the Playoff Grid. William Byron holds second-place. Denny Hamlin is in third with Christopher Bell in fourth. Tyler Reddick rounds out the top five. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series Playoff and Point Standings here.

The second race in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Playoffs will be the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway Sunday, September 11th.

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens