NASCAR Mailbag - Dale Jr.'s chances of making the playoffs

Also, did NASCAR hesitate on throwing the caution at Indy and can Regan Smith land another Cup ride, just some of the questions this week.

NASCAR Mailbag - Dale Jr.'s chances of making the playoffs
Richard Petty, Regan Smith, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Regan Smith, Ford
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet takes the checkered flag
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Gray Gaulding, Premium Motorsports Toyota wreck
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Is there any hope of Regan Smith driving full time at the Cup level next year? 

Greetings Mr. K, unless Regan wins the lottery or finds a sponsor willing to underwrite his efforts, I would say the chances are slim. Although Regan filled in for the injured Aric Almirola for two Cup races this season, Bubba Wallace’s subsequent performance was significantly better in the same car. Regan, 34, is not only competing with the next generation of drivers moving up to Cup for potential rides, there are several veterans with better resumes that would be considered ahead of him. - Lee Spencer

Why was the No. 42 car not penalized in manufacturer points at Kentucky when his finish was encumbered? The 22 was penalized in Richmond.

Hey Weyman, Great catch! I posed your question to NASCAR and they have since updated the points to reflect the infraction. - Lee Spencer

Why did NASCAR hesitate to throw the caution flag at Indy? 

Mike, good question. NASCAR maintains it wanted to allow the race to "play out to its natural conclusion," but that defies the purpose of having the overtime rules in the first place. Even if another restart was granted, it is unlikely the race could be restarted due to darkness and Kasey Kahne would still have been the winner. Regardless, I believe NASCAR should enforce the policies it has, or go back to just racing the advertised distance so we don't have to go through these arguments every time an OT takes place. - Jim Utter

Do you think Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make the playoffs? 

Hi David, Junior has won at four of the six remaining race tracks which will determine the 2017 Playoff field. While the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team has not been as stout as in years past, certainly, he has a shot. But with stronger teams still looking for their first wins of the season — and Joey Logano looking for a victory since his only win is encumbered — I would say the odds are against him. - Lee Spencer

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