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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5. Bubba Wallace

23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace continues to wait for that true breakthrough moment. He won races at Talladega Superspeedway in 2021 and Kansas Speedway in 2022, but those races both took place in the playoffs after Wallace had already failed to qualify.

Wallace managed to secure his first career playoff berth last year, doing so on the strength of his point total. But he was the 16th and final driver in the field, and the No. 23 team was actually beaten by the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team for the 16th and final spot in the owner playoffs. In other words, had Chase Elliott not missed seven races, Wallace would not have gotten in.

Now Wallace finds himself 13 points below the playoff cut line, and it has been quite some time since he has run well. He opened up the year with back-to-back top five finishes, but he has recorded just one since.

Teammate Tyler Reddick won twice and advanced to the round of 8 last year, and he has already won once this year. Teammate Kurt Busch also won a race in 2022, though he was forced to give up his playoff spot due to the head injury he suffered late in the regular season.

Having been outperformed by his teammate in all three seasons since the Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan-owned team expanded to two cars, Wallace finds himself under a bit of pressure, especially amid talks that the team will be expanding to three cars in 2025. Can he truly achieve that breakthrough moment? If not, he may miss out on the postseason.

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The second half of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is scheduled to get underway this Sunday, June 30 with the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action!