With just eight races remaining until the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, seven drivers are currently locked into the field. And for the drivers competing for the final nine spots, the next few weeks will be nerve-wracking.
Drivers currently locked in include Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.
Right now, Kevin Harvick sits fourth in points and looks pretty locked into the playoffs, and while Kurt Busch is currently eighth, his position seems locked in. For Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez and Clint Bowyer, who are the drivers 10-16 in points, only a win in the next eight races is likely to assure them a spot in the playoffs. And with several drivers behind them that just need a win, the pressure is on.
And heading into Daytona this weekend, isn’t a great sign for those drivers on the bubble, with Bowyer having the best average finish of 16.2. And with a long list of drivers that include three of the last five winners at Daytona (Erik Jones, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) sitting just outside of the Top 16, it may be a long weekend for those on the bubble.
And no matter who visits Victory Lane this weekend, it promises to be an interesting battle for playoff position.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs return to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 20.