The Clock Is Ticking On The 2017 Playoff Berths

Ryan Balney
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has reached its halfway point. The first half has featured three first-time winners, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, Austin Dillon and Ryan Baney, youngsters giving fans a glimpse into the sport’s future, dominant performances from some familiar faces and the enhanced racing format all elevating the competition.  Additionally, who would ever thought that Joe Gibbs Racing would be winless with just eight races left in “the regular season”?

Extremely important to remember is the number eight.   There are just eight races remaining for drivers to earn berths in NASCAR’s playoffs.

The following drivers would get in if the season ended today: Martin Truex Jr. (three, 28 playoff points), Jimmie Johnson (three wins, 16), Kyle Larson (two, 13), Brad Keselowski (two, 13), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (two, 10), Kevin Harvick (one, eight), Ryan Blaney (one, eight), Kurt Busch (one, five), Ryan Newman (one, five), Austin Dillon (one, five), Kyle Busch (138 points above Joey Logano on the cutoff line, four playoff points), Chase Elliott (+89, two), Jamie McMurray (+74), Denny Hamlin (+67, 2), Clint Bowyer (+24), Matt Kenseth (+7, two).

The first four out would be: Joey Logano (seven points below Matt Kenseth on the cutoff line), Erik Jones (-52), Daniel Suarez (-98) and Trevor Bayne (-119).

Remember, a win gets a driver into the playoffs!

Below is a list of winless drivers who have visited Victory Lane at upcoming tracks:

 New Hampshire: Ky. Busch, Kenseth, Bowyer, Hamlin, Kasey Kahne

Indianapolis: Ky. Busch, McMurray, Paul Menard

Pocono: Hamlin, Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kahne, Chris Buescher

Watkins Glen: Hamlin, Ky. Busch, AJ Allmendinger

Michigan: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth, Kahne

Bristol: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne

Darlington: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth

Richmond: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne


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