Winners most likely to miss the playoffs: No. 3 – Another upset winner
We could very well be in a position entering the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway where an upset win doesn’t lock the winner into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Imagine the following scenario.
Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr., who both sit in the top four in the point standings despite having not yet won a race in 2022, both finally win a race in the next few weeks, giving the regular season 16 different race winners heading into the final race before the four-round, 10-race postseason.
The lowest single-race winner in the point standings is Chase Briscoe in 17th place, and he sits 100 points ahead of Bubba Wallace in 24th.
Wallace secures the upset victory at Daytona International Speedway, a scenario which would ordinarily lock him into the playoffs.
However, there are now 17 different winners, and in this scenario, the lowest single-race winner in the point standings would miss the playoffs. In this case, that would be Wallace.
This is just one example. You can replace Bubba Wallace with a number of other drivers in this scenario, such as Erik Jones, Austin Dillon, Michael McDowell, Justin Haley, Chris Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cole Custer, Harrison Burton, Brad Keselowski, Todd Gilliland, Ty Dillon, or even Corey LaJoie if he gets to the top 30 in points.
That winner still wouldn’t make the playoffs, as crazy as it may seem.