The first to encounter a problem was reigning series champion Joey Logano.
Before the green flag even flew, Logano was forced down pit road with what appeared to be a broken axle. He returned to the race over 20 laps down and finished a disappointing 34th.
Logano leaves the ‘Monster Mile’ tied with William Byron for the final transfer spot, having lost his entire points buffer.
Soon after, last week’s winner Chase Elliott slowed on the frontstretch with an apparent engine failure. He was unable to return to the race and finished 38th, completing just eight laps.
Elliott heads into Talladega Superspeedway seven points below the cut line, but he did win there in the spring.
Further into the race, Logano’s Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney went behind the wall due to a broken spindle. He retired from the race on Lap 297 and finished fifth.
Blaney in the toughest position of all playoff drivers after Dover, now 22 points below the cut line and 12th in the standings.