With the implementation of the new, elimination-style Chase for the Sprint Cup format, we knew that it could lead to some surprises.
But NASCAR Nation may have gotten more than it bargained for.
Hendrick Motorsports put all four of their drivers – Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, and then-reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson – into the Chase. But none of them made it to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
And neither did Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, even though he captured a series-high six victories in 2014.
On the other side of the coin, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman – who tallied a combined one win between them – managed to use consistent front-running finishes through the first nine races of the Chase to put themselves into the Championship 4. And Newman ended up just one spot shy of winning it all at Homestead.
As part of today’s NASCAR AMERICA Chase Spectacular, Rick Allen, Nate Ryan, and Parker Kligerman touched on how these surprises impacted the battle for the title. Check out their thoughts in the clip above.