The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Playoffs begin this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kyle Bush, the regular season champion, enters the South Point 400 as the playoffs leader, followed by Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski. Seeded in 5th place is Clint Bowyer, followed by Joey Logano, Kurt Bush, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones. Playoff spots 11-16 are held by Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.
This is the first year LVMS has had a second date on the Cup schedule, and its inaugural playoff date. Following Vegas, the series heads to Richmond Raceway on Saturday night, September 22nd, followed by the Round 1 cutoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Sunday, September 30th.
Three “firsts” for each venue in Round 1 of this years playoffs have what it takes to lead to excitement and calamity, as the conclusion of the Roval trims the field from 16-12 contenders.
The South Point 400 Race Recap with the Track Talk podcast will feature all the news following the opening playoff race, and what to expect as the rounds continue.
For now, here’s the Track Talk podcast for this week, previewing the playoffs with what to expect.