Winning a NASCAR Cup Series race doesn’t necessarily lock a driver into the playoffs. Which five winners could be most at risk?
Regardless of how many regular season race winners there are, there are 16 playoff spots available. Considering the fact that there are 26 regular season races, this means that the playoff format is not necessarily a “win and in” format.
While it has proven to be a “win and in” format in the past, there could still be more than 16 regular season winners this season with eight races left on the regular season schedule.
The 16 playoff spots go to the regular season champion and the 15 drivers who rank next highest in wins, so the only drivers currently locked in are the five drivers who have won twice, as the regular season can produce no more than 13 multi-race winners.
So which race winners could be at risk?
Race winners who could be in trouble: No. 1 – Daniel Suarez
Among the eight drivers who have won just one race so far this season, Trackhouse Racing Team’s Daniel Suarez ranks lowest in the point standings.
Suarez isn’t the lowest winner in points, as Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin sits in 20th place, but with two wins, Hamlin is locked into the postseason. So Suarez is currently in the worst position among winners, in the event that there are more than 16 before the regular season ends.