By Jared Turner
There were no real surprises among the four playoff drivers who on Sunday failed to advance from the Round of 16 to the Round of 12. Despite opening the 2017 season with a victory in the Daytona 500 and being with one of the sport’s top organizations in Stewart-Haas Racing, Kurt Busch has struggled all year to find speed on a consistent basis. The same could be said for Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne, who punched his ticket into the playoffs with a victory at Indianapolis in July but has otherwise done little of note. Richard Childress Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon, meanwhile, were never thought to have real championship potential, especially given that each driver raced his way into the playoffs on the basis of a single win only made possible by a pit strategy gamble.