Ryan Newman leads four drivers eliminated from playoffs

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Ryan Newman missed out on advancing to the second round of the playoffs after finishing the opening round two points behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

Joining Newman in being eliminated from playoff contention are Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch.

Newman finished Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway in 13th, one lap down.

“We weren’t good enough, it’s as simple as that,” Newman told NBCSN. “You can’t run what we ran the last three races and expect to go out and win championships.”

Newman finished 23rd at Chicagoland and 13th at both New Hampshire and Dover.

Dillon, Newman’s teammate at Richard Childress Racing, finished 16th, one lap down. He had qualified for the playoffs by winning the Coke 600 in May.

“Stenhouse getting those stage points, his car was no good,” Dillon told NBCSN. “We were better than him all day. It would have come down to me and the 31 (Newman). … It stinks, but proud of my guys who fought hard. I would have liked to have a battle down to the end with (Newman). But that first caution when Jeffrey (Earnhardt) spun, that just kind of killed our day when (Stenhouse) got those stage points.”

Kahne, who qualified for the playoffs after winning the Brickyard 400, finished the race in 14th, one lap down.

“Just track position was one of the biggest challenges for us,” Kahne said. “It was just tough. We didn’t pass really well, but had a pretty decent car, but it was a bit of a struggle to pass guys that were running the same speed, so we just kind of ran in that spot and tried to use some strategy to get up. It seemed to really work, but then on the long end of it, it didn’t work out.”

Busch, the winner of the Daytona 500, was booted from the playoffs after finishing 20th, two laps down. Busch did not finish better than 19th in the three races of the opening round.

“I thought we were doing good in the month of August and once the playoffs started it just seemed like we were spinning our wheels,” Busch told NBCSN. “A bunch of mistakes on my part.”

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