In the closing laps of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Tyler Reddick worked his way into 10th place, ahead of both William Byron and Jimmie Johnson.
Which was a big deal for the points standings considering Reddick is battling both Byron and Johnson for the 16th and final spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with six races to go in the regular season.
The 10th-place finish brought Reddick closer to the edge of the NASCAR Cup Series playoff bubble, as he is now 15 points behind 16th-place Byron. Johnson appeared to be heading for a top-10 finish at New Hampshire on Sunday, but he slid to 12th and cost himself some playoff points. Now the seven-time Cup Series champion is 18th in the playoff standings, 25 points behind Byron.
Below is a look at the NASCAR playoff picture with six races, including doubleheaders at Michigan and Dover, remaining before the playoffs are scheduled to start in September.
NASCAR playoff bubble
A total of 10 drivers have won races in 2020 and clinched spots in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. With six races left in the regular season, that means there won’t be more than 16 race winners in 2020, so all race winners will make the postseason.
Below is the list of drivers who have not won races in 2020 and are currently sitting on what can be considered the NASCAR playoff bubble. It surprisingly includes defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, who finished in last place Sunday because of an early crash to extend his winless streak to 20 races.
NASCAR playoff points standings
Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s race at New Hampshire for his third victory of the season, putting a little pressure on playoff points leaders Denny Hamlin (five wins) and Kevin Harvick (four wins).
Including the 10 drivers on the bubble, below are the NASCAR Cup Series playoff points standings through Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.
(* – 2020 race winner)
Below is NASCAR’s explanation for how it awards points:
“Each finishing spot in the field earns a driver points, from a maximum of 40 points to the driver who finishes first, down to one point for the driver who finishes 40th. …
“Drivers can earn race points through their performances in Stage 1 and Stage 2. Drivers who are running first through 10th at the conclusion of Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 will receive points, starting with 10 points for first place, nine points for second place, down to one point for 10th place. Points earned in those two stages are then added to what drivers earn after the final stage, which sets the full race results. …
“Additionally, a driver can earn bonus playoff points for the following:
“Those points are added on to a driver’s total once the postseason starts. The accumulated playoff points will carry over at the start of the Round of 16, Round of 12 and Round of 8.”
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