This is how the NASCAR Playoffs are different from every other sport.

No other major sport allows non-playoff participants to participate during the playoffs.  And, while many may feat that a non-playoff driver may do something that negatively impacts a playoff driver, I think we saw the opposite at Darlington: a non-playoff driver stealing the spotlight from the playoff drivers and delivering another feel-good story in a year that has been full of them.

There is a lot to like in Erik Jones’ win.  First of all, it wasn’t a fluke.  He’s good at Darlington, and that Petty GMS team has been running better and better as this year has gone on.  Then, throw in all that Jones has been through personally, and to it off with the cherry of the legendary #43 returning to Victory Lane at the sport’s most hallowed grounds.

            How is different good?  Take the non-playoff drivers out of the field at Darlington and all we’d be talking about is a bunch of negative stuff from playoff race number one.  Instead, we get a story that puts a smile on our faces.