NASCAR: 3 winners most likely to miss the playoffs

Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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If there are more than 16 regular season winners, we will see at least one winner miss the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell became the 14th different winner in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, winning last Sunday afternoon’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to get back to victory lane for the first time since February 2021.

There are still six races remaining in the 26-race regular season, opening up the possibility that there will be more than 16 regular season race winners for the first time. This would result in at least one of the winners failing to qualify for the playoffs, despite the “win and in” concept of the postseason.

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Which winners are most at risk of missing the playoffs if there are indeed more than 16 winners before the regular season ends?

Winners most likely to miss the playoffs: No. 1 – Chase Briscoe

Chase Briscoe is currently the lowest positioned single-race winner in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, sitting in 17th place, so in the event that more new winners emerge and a winner ends up missing the playoffs, he could very well be the one left on the outside looking in.

Things aren’t exactly trending in the right direction for Briscoe, who has just one finish of higher than ninth place in the 16 races that have been contested since he earned his first career victory at Phoenix Raceway back in mid-March. He has just four top 10 finishes all season and hasn’t finished higher than 13th in the last six races.

Notably, there are four drivers who sit higher than he does in the standings but haven’t yet won. If three more drivers who end up ahead of him in the standings win a race before the regular season ends — even if they are currently lower than Briscoe is — then Briscoe will need to jump at least one current winner in the standings in order to earn his first career playoff berth.