NASCAR: 3 drivers who could be in serious trouble

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Three drivers who have regularly qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are at serious risk of missing the cut halfway through the 2022 regular season.

An exciting race at Kansas Speedway wrapped up the first half of the 26-race 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season two Sundays ago, with 23XI Racing’s Kurt Busch passing Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson for the win in the closing laps of the AdventHealth 400.

Busch didn’t officially clinch a playoff spot, since there could still be more than 16 different regular season winners (there have been 11 in 13 races already, and there are still 13 regular season races remaining).

But the win was much needed for the 2004 series champion in terms of his playoff eligibility, considering the fact that he had been mired down in 22nd place in the point standings beforehand.

However, other series veterans and playoff regulars still find themselves in precarious positions as it comes to getting into this year’s playoffs. Here are three who could be in trouble.

NASCAR drivers who could be in serious trouble: No. 1 – Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing did get a win at Phoenix Raceway with Chase Briscoe back in March at Phoenix Raceway, but they still haven’t shown the speed that some of the Chevrolet and Toyota teams have shown this year.

As a byproduct of those struggles, Kevin Harvick’s surprising win drought, which goes all the way back to September 2020 when he earned a series-high ninth win of the year at Bristol Motor Speedway, is still intact.

Harvick sits in 11th place in the point standings through 13 races, but that only places him in 15th in the playoff picture, as the cut line currently sits between the 12th and 13th place drivers. There have already been four drivers from below it who have won, vaulting themselves above the cut line.

Last year, Harvick finished the regular season in ninth place in the standings and was also the 15th of 16 drivers to qualify, and he was seeded last in the first round of the postseason. The final driver to qualify on points finished in 11th.

With 13 regular season races remaining for more new winners to emerge, Harvick may need to either win or significantly improve his position in the standings to prevent the 2022 season from becoming his first without a playoff berth since 2009.