NASCAR Playoff Picture after Christopher Bell Wins in New Hampshire

by Jonathan Howard

What a wild and fun finish we had yesterday as Christopher Bell won in New Hampshire. So, what does that do to the NASCAR Playoffs? Well, it adds a little more drama to the mix as we get ready for the postseason. Bell’s first win on the season means that we now have 14 individual winners on the year. If that gets to 16, we’re likely going to see a driver with a win miss out on the postseason.

While we can look at the points standings until we’re blue in the face, you have to check out the playoff points. Sitting on top of the standings, as he has been pretty much all season, is Chase Elliott. Fourteen top-10s, seven top-5s, and three wins. He has 2,035 points for the postseason and is ready to separate himself more. Elliott has finished either first or second in each of the last four races.

We also have Ross Chastain at the top, just below Elliott. The, at times controversial, driver can cause a lot of issues sometimes. He doesn’t always use that brake pedal how he should. Still, the results speak volumes. He is the only driver that can match Elliott’s top-10s, and has more top-5s — he’s just one win short and a couple of stage wins away from the top of the standings. Chastain has acquired 2023 playoff points.

Joey Logano and William Byron follow closeby behind Chastain with 2016 and 2014 points each, respectively.

We have a lot of talented drivers in the field at the moment, but that might not last long for some. Bell’s win makes the NASCAR Playoffs a bit more tricky.

Winless Drivers Holding on for NASCAR Playoffs

There are two drivers that should be sweating a little bit with the last six races of the season staring them in the face. Kevin Harvick has been bumped from the NASCAR Playoffs. He hasn’t won a race, but could at some point. But, it’s two drivers that are in (for now) that should be more concerned with each passing week.

He waited to do it until the last two races of the year last season, but Ryan Blaney has no wins this year except the All-Star Race, which doesn’t count towards the postseason. He has come so close and is 2nd in the season points standings. However, for the playoffs, he sits in 7th. He is also the next one to get bumped from the playoffs if another driver picks up a win.

Unless that driver is Martin Truex Jr. The No. 19 has had a solid season this year. Just on the verge of a couple of wins in 2022, Truex is an experienced driver that can take a checkered flag any given weekend. Heading into Pocono next weekend, this NASCAR season is going to end with sparks before the playoffs are here.

For a full list of standings check it out here.