The massive divide between NASCARs heavyweights and the underdog teams just scraping by received renewed attention following Kyle Buschs damning assessment of how backmarkers raced in the playoff opener over the weekend.
Busch rallied from an early incident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that dropped him two laps off the pace to stunningly position himself for a top-five finish. Instead, he ran into the back of Garrett Smithley, who was 12 laps down in 35th place.
Busch, the regular-season champion, dropped to a 19th-place finish and went from first to fourth in the playoff standings. Clearly aggravated after Sundays race, he was blunt about the incident with Smithley, who was among 23 drivers on the track that day who are not in the 16-driver playoff field.