NASCAR Cup Series: 5 playoff drivers who might not be back in 2024

Five drivers who made it to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are at serious risk of not making it back to the postseason in 2024.
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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3. Kyle Busch

A lot of people were skeptical of Kyle Busch's move to Richard Childress Racing ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, and a lot of people were quickly proven wrong when the two-time series champion won three races in the first half of the year.

But the second half of the 2023 season painted a relatively grim picture for the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet moving forward. His performance faded down the stretch, and he finished the season in 14th place in the point standings, his worst result since his rookie season in 2005.

Things have gone even worse in 2024.

His average finish of 18.9 this season is his worst since his rookie season, and he has only recorded five top finishes, of which only two were of the top five variety. With 131 laps led, he is on pace for his lowest career single-season laps led total by a significant margin, and he sits 45 points below the playoff cut line.

Busch has said that he isn't as worried about getting into the playoffs, which he has done every year since 2013, as he is about extending his record-breaking win streak. Busch has won at least one race in each of his first 19 seasons in the Cup Series; Richard Petty's 18-year winning streak had been the record.

Though Austin Dillon may not be the greatest benchmark, the fact that Busch's teammate sits in 32nd place in the point standings paints a very dire picture for Richard Childress' team.