Breaking down the points cutoff margin in the closing laps at the ROVAL

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The 'Hub' crew break down the cutoff margins in the playoff points for Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Larson throughout the chaos in the closing laps at the ROVAL.

- Watching this race right here and watching how it was unfolding, it did not have me sitting on the edge of my seat. It had me standing up because it was the most intense racing with these three guys as the laps were winding down to try to stay above the cut line.

- You know who else was standing up or up on the wheel? Eric Almirola, because he knew exactly where he was, how many cars he needed to pass, and that is exactly what he did, Larry. Walk me through the way that Eric Almirola navigated this traffic.

- Well, you can see right here, he was five below the cut line with three laps to go right there, had much fresher tires than most of the drivers he was competing against. He gets by Ross Chastain in the seven car right there. He now is four points below the cut line. So check one off, and same lap, he's going to get him another one here, Casey.

- Yep, right here you can see him go by the 72 of Cole Whitt. And he just keeps clicking them off, doing what he needs to do to get up there and get inside these playoffs.

- And you can see there now, he's three points below the cut line. And we're still early in the three laps to go.

HOST: How about we go later in the lap. We're on the oval and turns three and four. He's going to get another one, Larry.

- Right here, he gets by Jeffrey Earnhardt. And he just keep going, doing a good job. But he's got a few more to go.

- Yeah, and you're going to see, as he goes by the mound, he's six car. This is going to change to two points below the cut line. And we still are closing in on now two laps to go.

- Now he's coming up on Daniel Hemric and the eight. Daniel's done a great job all weekend. But Eric's on fresh tires and hungry, and has to make sure he gets by him. Right here, he makes a real good move to get on the inside.

- Yeah, he's going to go by Daniel Hemric in the eight car. And as he completes this pass, in turn, one of the NASCAR oval, you'll see it goes to one point below the cut line. He still has two more drivers right out in front of him that he needs to pass.

- Yeah, and now as we're going to the hard breaking zone, he's got Daniel Suarez, and he's got the number 13 of Ty Dale that he needs to get by. Makes a big bold move to try to get both of them right here. Doesn't get both, but he gets by the 13. It wasn't pretty, but he made it happen.

- And you could see him in the final lap, he's going to go by Daniel Suarez in the 19 car as they go in the turn one. And now, at this point, things are going to change, though, but he's one point above the cut line with that 10 car.

- So he did his job. Now let's go to Jimmy Johnson, who, as we said prior to the restart, had a lot of cushion. Here we are, final light going for the victory of a true lap.

- Yeah, I mean talking to Jimmy, you know, earlier today, he just wishes he had a little more from break. You know, he had a really good shot at it-- didn't quite get it. But right here, he has to get stopped, and he does that, which is good, right?

- Yeah, he was seven points above the cut line running second to Martin Truex Jr. in the 78. He's going to go by Martin Truex Jr., And right now he's going to be eight points above the cut line. But you can see it-- six, five, four, three, two, one, and he's barely, Casey, going to finish in front of Kevin Harvick in that four car. He's going to stay one point above the cut line.

- Yeah, right now, he's sitting good. You know, just here's what happens next.

- And we all know, it was just one spot, so as he's sitting there watching those cars go by, you got to think the frustration level and emotions are rising. Let's talk about another guy, the 42. He was involved in this three way battle for the tie. If he wanted to get out in his car and push this car to victory lane, I'm sure that's what he was thinking inside.

- Yeah, I mean, you can see he's just beating and banging the wall. But what he needs to do, he needs to get by Jeffrey Earnhardt in this 96 car who was spun by Daniel Hemric. There was a lot of things said on social media. Did Jeffrey Earnhardt just sit there where Kyle Larson could go by him?

What had happened when Jeffrey got spun out, the engine spun backwards. With electronic fuel injection and a electronic control unit, when something like that happens, it sends a code to the box that shuts the engine off. He could not re-fire the engine, which is why he's just sitting there.

- So you look at this, it's plus one for both Almirola and Jimmy Johnson. This past for Kyle Larson puts them at even, and therefore, we have a tiebreaker situation. And the tiebreaker is best finish in the round, that means Vegas. The second place finish for Larson at Vegas and Almirola, a top five at Richmond. They're moving on. Jimmy Johnson is going home.