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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Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 5 – Alex Bowman

Championship odds: +10000

Nothing could go wrong for Alex Bowman earlier this season, when he spent several races at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series point standings for the first time in his career. But since then, nothing has gone right.

Bowman and the No. 48 team were docked 60 points after the early April race at Richmond Raceway for a greenhouse violation, and following the next weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, Bowman was injured in a sprint car crash, sidelining him for the next four races.

Fortunately, one of those races was the non-points All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, but those three missed starts appear to have cost him in a big way.

Bowman’s most recent top 10 finish remains his eighth place finish in the April race at Richmond, meaning that he hasn’t actually finished in the top 10 and gained points during the same race weekend since March. He has placed no higher than 12th since returning from his injury and has dropped well outside the provisional playoff picture.

Even without his penalty and without the missed starts, his points per race average would only having him sitting in 15th place in the point standings.

The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet is at serious risk of missing the playoffs for the first time since becoming a full-time driver in 2018, an absence which would inherently end his impressive streak of round of 12 appearances at five.