NASCAR: These One-Win Drivers Should Be Sweating Out the End of the Regular Season

by Jonathan Howard

When the season began, we all knew the deal with the NASCAR Cup Series. Win and you’re in. However, there’s more to it than that. In fact, it’s really the top driver in the points standings and then the next 15 drivers with a win.

So, if Ryan Blaney (for example) was the points leader right now, he’d still be in the playoffs even if there are 16 winners. No one thought we’d get to this point in the season with 15 winners. If a 16th driver claims a checkered flag in 2022, things get really messy.

The Situation

There are a number of drivers that should be sweating a little bit, and then a few that might need to dab their forehead. Because if you only have one win on the season and you’re in the bottom third of the NASCAR standings, things might end badly for you.

For starters, Kurt Busch — he’s missed four races and just might miss a fifth. If he doesn’t get behind the wheel of his No. 45 Toyota Camry soon, he might be on the outside looking in After a win at Kansas earlier in the season, the 23XI driver probably thought he was good to go. Let’s hope he heals up and gets back to driving soon.

However, drivers like Austin Cindric or Alex Bowman might be more worried. They are both sitting provisionally at 15th and 16th in the standings. If the playoffs started today, they would be the last two in. Cindric, the only rookie to ever win the Daytona 500, is hoping to hold on to make it into the postseason in Year 1, as well. Meanwhile, Bowman is going to be whistling and minding his own business these last two weeks.

Sitting on the verge here are Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, and Bubba Wallace. These drivers just need one lucky break or good restart to punch their way into the playoffs. If one of these winless drivers manages to do it instead of Ryan Blaney – then the No. 12 team is going to be tossing a very efficient season into the trash.

NASCAR at Watkins Glen International

Well, it’s another road course, Watkins Glen! That means we will see some drivers have better days than others. Right now, the two hottest drivers are Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace. Harvick has back-to-back wins and Wallace has been posting top-10 finishes like it’s nobody’s business. He has a lot to prove and is very eager to do so. Is it possible to see one of these drivers get a flag on Sunday?

Harvick won at Watkins Glen once … in 2006. Still, the history is there. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. But, there are drivers that will be sweating a little bit more than others. It’s crunch time. The regular season is coming to an end and we will soon have a field of 16. After that, it’s anyone’s race.

Who is destined to take home the Bill France Cup?