With just four races remaining until the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs start, four drivers are competing for the final two spots in the playoffs.
While Kyle Larson is in 14th position, he is currently 46 points ahead of 16th place and almost assuredly in the playoffs. For Clint Bowyer, who is currently in the 15th spot, he is just 12 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman in the standings. And currently based on their finishing positions, Johnson holds the tie-breaker over Newman. And just 23 points behind both drivers in Daniel Suarez in the 17th spot.
And this weekend at Michigan International Speedway is a great chance for Bowyer, Johnson and Newman to try and solidify their place in the playoffs. And Newman may lead the pack as he has two wins and 10 Top-10 finishes at Michigan, while Bowyer (12 Top 10s) and Johnson (13 Top 10s) each have one win (Bowyer’s is more recent than the other two, winning at Michigan in June of last year).
The challenge for Newman, Bowyer and Johnson to gain any points on each other this weekend, absent a win, will be that each averages a 16th to 17th-place finish at the track.
This weekend in Michigan could go a long way in determining the final two drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Drivers currently in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs (based on wins) – Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.
Drivers currently in the playoffs (based on points) – Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs return to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 20 with the Hollywood Casino 400.