NorCal Racing

McCarter: Kyle Larson victimized by NASCAR playoff structure

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Sometimes playoff formats work; sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the most deserving are rewarded; sometimes there’s a fluke.

Hello, NASCAR fluke; goodbye, Kyle Larson.

NASCAR’s playoff has failed to reward one of its most deserving and in doing so revealed its greatest flaw: It is harshly unforgiving in a sport where competitors must deal with more things out of their own control than in any other.

The two best teams in baseball are meeting in the World Series. The two best teams in the NBA have met in the finals the last two years. But March Madness sent a seventh seed to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup final featured the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators. Such is the expanded world of playoff sports we’ve been forced to embrace for the sake of TV ratings.

Now, NASCAR’s playoff moves along without Larson, whose No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet team was the best team in the sport behind the No. 78 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr.

Larson won four races and finished in the top 10 19 times in 32 starts this year….

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