Heading into the First Data 500, the 2018 NASCAR playoffs has been through a miserable stretch. Talladega was a four-car Stewart-Haas Racing freight train that gave us the fewest lead changes since 1973. Then, last Sunday a Kansas elimination race became notable for its unique ability to eliminate people from staying awake. The Round of 8 starts with some sluggish momentum in what’s been another difficult season for stock car racing. Pit road penalties? Pitiful passing? Zzzz.