This has been a wild NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the standings are indicative of that. Joey Logano won the South Point 400 on Sunday. He is now locked into the Championship 4 at Phoenix. This is major for the Team Penske driver as he searches for his second Cup Series title.
However, there were other implications after the Las Vegas race. Logano blew right past Ross Chastain in the No. 1 Tootsie’s Chevy. However, that doesn’t mean Chastain should hang his head and feel too bad. He did put himself in a great spot moving forward to Homestead-Miami.
Joey Logano Leads NASCAR Playoff Standings
Chastain is +18 points above the cutline, so he still has to race well. Here is the rest of the field.
We saw Chase Elliott struggle a little bit. Denny Hamlin really had to fight to finish well on Sunday. At one point, Chase Briscoe looked like he might battle for the checkered flag, faded, and still fought back to finish 4th. Ryan Blaney was taken out by a wheel issue after winning the second stage and had a car that could have won this race.
But they are all relatively close when it comes to the NASCAR Playoff Standings.
Then there is Christopher Bell who suffered another tough DNF during the second stage. That was a result of the Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson debacle. This put him behind the rest of the playoff field and he will have to have two very strong races, or perhaps another win if he wants to move on to the Championship 4.
Consistency Is Key for Denny Hamlin
The driver that I have been focused on this postseason has been Denny Hamlin. He has been consistent and it is no wonder that he finds himself in a position to move on to the Championship 4. At Homestead-Miami and Martinsville, he could find his first (official) checkered flag since the Coca-Cola 600.
During these NASCAR Playoffs, Hamlin has yet to finish outside of the top 15 and has an average finish of 6.5. He’s been great. He has three wins at Miami and has won pole position six times, including the last five in a row.
If I was a betting man I’d have my eyes on Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. But, it’s the playoffs and anything can happen. One crash, one engine failure, one mistake, and any of these drivers could be eliminated.