As the NASCAR playoffs head to Bristol Motor Speedway as the cutoff race of the Round of 16, drivers around the cutline react to the challenge.
Clint Bowyer will be looking to at least leave Bristol as the standing is right now. He holds the last spot to get transferred to the next round. However, he is only three points ahead of William Byron who is right outside the final transfer spot.
For Bowyer, who finished second in the race at All-Star Open at Bristol, he is confident going there.
“That’s a good track for us and a lot of fun and a track that I feel like I can win at some day, so there’s nothing to be scared about going to a track like that,” he said. “You’ve just got to go there and have fun with it like you always do on a short track and race your asses off. Hopefully that will be enough.”
Byron will look towards a drastic change in fortune than his last outing at Richmond Raceway, where he finished 21st, the worst among the 16 seeded drivers.
“We ran horrible (Saturday night) and no excuse for that,” Byron said. “It was really kind of a slow death the entire race. So we’ll go to Bristol and regroup for that one.”
Rookie of the Year Cole Custer surely won’t have the same pressure to make it to the next round as his other competitors. But going as far into the playoffs is always a boost, whether for a rookie or a veteran.
“I have mixed feelings about that,” Custer said. “The first race I thought we were good. The All-Star Race I thought we struggled a little bit, so I think it’s a place I’ve had success at in the past. It’s just you’ve got to hit it perfect and we don’t have any practice.”