Sunday wasn’t the most exciting race we have seen this season, however, NASCAR put on a good showing regardless of fireworks, or the lack thereof on the track. Each stage was dominated by one or two drivers and the final stage was a battle between Tyler Reddick and Chase Elliott. Of course, Reddick came out on top with his first career Cup Series win.
So, what does this mean as far as the postseason outlook? The NASCAR Playoffs are not far away if you think about it. We are well past halfway through the season and some drivers have more to prove than others. The one thing that hasn’t changed? Elliott’s position on top of the points standings, despite a second-place finish at Road America.
The Georgia native and most popular driver in the series is in good shape. He is the first driver to pass 600 points this season and has two wins on his record.
Oh, and win and you’re in? That gets shakier by the week with 13 drivers now claiming checkered flags at some point this season. There are eight races to go in the regular season. There are drivers that haven’t won that might have one up their sleeve before it is all said and done.
Road America Points Standing Shakeup
Right now, eighth place is the cutoff for a non-winner to get into the playoffs. That is currently Christopher Bell with 499 points. So, that means that, with Reddick becoming the 13th winner of the year, Kevin Harvick has been bumped from that scenario.
Taking a step back and looking at this from a big picture perspective. You have eight races left in the season after Road America and here is the list of drivers that don’t have a win on the season currently in that top-16 – Ryan Blaney (2nd, 591 points, Martin Truex Jr. (7th, 540 points), Bell (8th), Harvick (11th, 479 points), and Aric Almirola (12th, 452 points),
Here are the Playoff Standings numbers from the broadcast on Sunday.
Those are five drivers that you look at, and you think to yourself, at least two of them are due for a win. And there’s not an impossible scenario where three or four of these drivers snag a win at some point to finish the year. Blaney won the last two regular-season races of the season last year for his first wins, why can’t he do that again?
As for Truex and Harvick, they are both so experienced, it’d be a wild season for neither of them to have a win. And, you just feel like Bell is due to get his first win of the season at any moment. Road America has put all of these drivers in a tough position heading into the final stretch of the season.