NASCAR: Bubba Wallace team drops out of playoff picture

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 23XI Racing team is now on the outside looking in when it comes to the provisional NASCAR Cup Series playoff picture.

23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace currently finds himself occupying the 16th and final spot in the provisional NASCAR Cup Series playoff picture.

He dropped from 15th to 16th place in the playoff picture in Sunday afternoon’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course because of the fact that the race produced a 13th different winner.

That driver, Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell, is below the driver of the No. 23 Toyota in the point standings, but because of his victory, he moved ahead of him in the playoff picture.

As a result, there are now just three spots that remain open for drivers to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs on points.

Of course, that number could still drop to as low as one, with the possibility of new winners emerging in the regular season’s final two races at Watkins Glen International and Daytona International Speedway.

But as of right now, Wallace holds the 16th and final spot as the third highest non-winner in points.

However, in the owner standings, Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 team find themselves on the outside looking in.

The reason for this is the fact that Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott missed seven races earlier this season, so while he personally sits in 19th place in the point standings, his No. 9 team sits in 14th in the owner standings because of the points his replacements scored while he was out.

With the 16th and 17th place teams in the owner standings, the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team of McDowell and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., both having won a race this season and thus being ahead of the No. 9 team in the provisional owner playoff picture, the No. 9 team currently occupies the 16th and final spot.

On the driver side, however, Elliott is effectively in a must-win position ahead of the regular season’s final two races.

Of course, the potential for new winners over the next two weekends could shake up the owner playoffs as well as the driver playoffs. Between which positions in the point standings will the 16-driver/team playoff cutoffs end up?

Last year, we saw the third place team miss the owner playoffs entirely, and the cut line for the driver playoffs ended up between the third and fourth place drivers.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is giving fans an instant $150 for placing a single $5 bet, lists Wallace at +6500 to win this year’s championship. Elliott is still listed with shorter odds at +2200.

Odds and availability are subject to change. Lock in your $150 today!

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