NASCAR alters Talladega results shortly after GEICO 500 ends

Two drivers have swapped spots after NASCAR had time to review the full finish of Sunday's GEICO 500 Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
GEICO 500, Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR
GEICO 500, Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR / James Gilbert/GettyImages

When a NASCAR Cup Series race ends, the results are first considered unofficial.

That is particularly important when a chaotic finish unfolds and there are cars strewn everywhere across the track like there were after the big wreck coming the checkered flag of Sunday afternoon's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

When the results of the 188-lap race around the four-turn, 2.66-mile (4.281-kilometer) high-banked Lincoln, Alabama oval were initially published by NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing's Kyle Busch was listed in 26th place ahead of Trackhouse Racing Team's Daniel Suarez in 27th.

It meant that Busch was in 17th place in the point standings, 11 points below the playoff cut line, with 234 points. Suarez, who is a provisional playoff driver thanks to his win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February, was in 18th with 220.

But although these results were published by NASCAR and not considered "unofficial" like the initial order shown on the screen by Fox (i.e. Chase Elliott being shown in 24th place instead of where he really finished in 15th), NASCAR reviewed the finish and made a change to the running order before issuing a new official results sheet.

On the updated version, Busch was scored behind Suarez in 27th place, meaning he now has 233 points and is 12 points out of the playoff picture. With Suarez now scored in 26th, he has 221.

Suarez couldn't understand why he was scored in 27th place. Whether or not he is less confused in 26th remains to be seen.

Busch, who won this race last April, wasn't pleased anyway. The further reduction certainly won't help matters.

While he technically isn't yet locked into the playoffs since there could still be more winners than playoff spots, Suarez is already ahead of Busch in the provisional playoff picture, despite being 12 points behind him in the point standings, thanks to his aforementioned Atlanta win. As a result, Busch is technically in 18th place in the playoff picture rather than 17th.

Suarez is one of seven winners through the season's first 10 races. He is the lowest of the five single-race winners in the point standings, so that extra point could end up being important in the long run if a tiebreaker is needed to determine which single-race winners get in and which don't.

As for Busch, losing a point could end up proving important as he aims to make a 12th consecutive playoff appearance. He has not been to victory lane since winning the race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway last June and has not had a strong start to the 2024 season.

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The next race on the schedule is the Wurth 400, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Dover Motor Speedway beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, April 28. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so today and don't miss it.