The First Two Playoff Races Have Offered Few Surprises

By Jared Turner

With two playoff races in the books, four drivers have clinched berths in the Round of 12. None of the four who’ve punched tickets to the next round is a surprise. Of the four, three of them — Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch — have been hands-down the season’s most dominant drivers. The other, Brad Keselowski, is a former Monster Energy Series champion who boasts considerable playoff experience and is aligned with one of the sport’s top organizations in Team Penske. While the names at the top of the playoff standings aren’t the least bit surprising, you could argue that one of the names near the bottom — 15th-place Kurt Busch — is a mild surprise, in light of Busch being a former champion and having seemingly found some extra speed in recent weeks. But for the most part, it’s fair to say the first two races of the playoffs have pretty much gone as expected.