NASCAR Cup Series: 6 playoff drivers in serious trouble

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /
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Of last year’s 16 NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers, 10 are safely in the playoff field. But the other six aren’t even in the provisional playoff picture.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season is winding down, with just three races remaining on the schedule following this past Monday afternoon’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Nine of last year’s 16 playoff drivers have found victory lane this season, and one more finds himself solidly in the playoff field, even with races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Watkins Glen International, and Daytona International Speedway remaining on the schedule.

But the other six could be in deep trouble. Here’s a look at those six drivers and where DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans $150 just for betting $5, lists their current championship odds.

NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 1 – Chase Briscoe

Championship odds: +30000

Let’s start with the easiest one: Chase Briscoe. Briscoe qualified for last year’s playoff thanks to an early-season victory at Phoenix Raceway, but he utilized a late-season surge to advance to the round of 8 and put himself on the cusp of an unlikely Championship 4 appearance.

He is going to need to do a lot more than that just to get to the playoffs for the second straight year this year, and things aren’t trending in the right direction.

Briscoe sits in 31st place in the point standings without a finish higher than 10th place in the last 13 races. Even without a recent 120-point penalty for a counterfeit part on his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, he would only be sitting in 24th place in the point standings.