While 12 other drivers will advance to the next phase – the Contender round – of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, four drivers unfortunately fell short in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.
A.J. Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola failed to advance to the next round and are the first four drivers to ever be eliminated from the Chase.
Here’s how things played out for those four drivers and their thoughts (courtesy of post-race interviews on ESPN):
* A.J. Allmendinger, finished 13th in the standings, fell short of advancing by just two points:
“We sucked overall all day today,” Allmendinger said. “We weren’t good enough. We didn’t deserve to make it. I’m not disappointed we didn’t make it. I’m just disappointed in running like this.
“That’s all I had. I’m worn out, tried to give everything, tried to get every spot possible. … We just weren’t good enough all day. We never hit it all weekend. I know I’m way better at this place than that looked like.
“… We’ve got seven races left. Just because we didn’t make it doesn’t mean the season is over. Not bad for a single-car team like ours to come up three points short.”
* Kurt Busch finished 14th, six points out:
“It just was tight the last 100 miles,” Busch said. “I felt we were in a good position to advance. … We gave it a good run.
“We don’t get to advance to the championship, but we can still run for pride and for wins. You can’t expect to advance running 18th. … I just chalk it up to me not getting the job done, that we didn’t advance.”
* Greg Biffle finished 15th, seven points out:
Biffle did not speak to ESPN after the race.
* Aric Almirola, finished 16th, 18 points out:
“(I’m) just sad, disappointed,” Almirola said. “We picked a real bad day to run like that.
“That’s kind of what we fought this year, we were just really inconsistent. We had really good weeks and we had really bad weeks. We don’t ever run consistently, and this week was proof of that.
“It’s frustrating to run like that, but we’ll regroup. … I guess our goal from here on out is just not to finish 16th in points.”
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