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2017 NASCAR playoffs: Rules, schedule, drivers, standings, odds to win Cup championship

With two races left until the start of the playoffs on September 17 at Chicagoland Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. is favorite to win it all.

Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin Truex, Jr.

NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are just around the corner, and the sport's new points format and segmented races is paying dividends for points leader Martin Truex Jr.

With two races remaining until the start of the playoffs on September 17 at Chicagoland Speedway, Truex is in position to extend his head start in the playoffs if he can clinch the regular-season title.

That win would give Truex another 15 playoff points to go with his already earned 35 points. It would be a tremendous lead in the first round of the playoffs for Truex, who is seeking his first Cup Series playoffs championship. 

2017 NASCAR playoff rules

"Win and you're in." Just like regular-season races, winners move on to the next round. The 10 playoff events will feature stage racing, with playoff bonus points up for grabs that drivers can take to the next round.

To begin the playoffs, all point totals (excluding bonus points) are reset to 2,000 for the 16 eligible playoff drivers. Points are reset again before the Round of 12 and Round of 8. The Championship 4 drivers will race straight up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.

After three playoff races (October 1 at Dover), four drivers will be eliminated from the playoffs. After another three races (Oct. 22 at Kansas), another four will be eliminated based on points, then again at Phoenix on November 12 until four drivers remain. 

2017 NASCAR playoff schedule

Sept. 17 — Round of 16 begins at Chicagoland Speedway (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Sept. 24 — New Hampshire (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Oct. 1 — Dover (cutoff race, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Oct. 8 — Round of 12 begins at Charlotte (2 p.m. ET, NBC)

Oct. 15 — Talladega (2 p.m. ET, NBC)

Oct. 22 — Kansas (cutoff race, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Oct. 29 — Round of 8 begins at Martinsville (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Nov. 5 — Texas (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Nov. 12 — Phoenix (cutoff race, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Nov. 19 — Championship 4 at Homestead (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

2017 NASCAR playoff driver standings

With two races before the start of the playoffs, 13 drivers have punched their ticket to the playoffs, leaving three spots up for grabs. 

Here’s how the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Grid shakes out now: Truex (four wins, 35 playoff points), Kyle Busch (2, 20), Kyle Larson (3, 18), Jimmie Johnson (3, 16), Brad Keselowski (2, 14), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2, 10), Kevin Harvick (1, 8), Ryan Blaney (1, 8), Denny Hamlin (1, 7), Kurt Busch (1, 5), Ryan Newman (1, 5), Kasey Kahne (1, 5), Austin Dillon (1, 5), Chase Elliott (69 points ahead of Clint Bowyer on the cutoff line, 2 playoff points), Matt Kenseth (+61, 3), Jamie McMurray (+58, 0).

Bowyer and Joey Logano are on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Bowyer is 58 points below the cutoff line and Logano is 117 points back. They need a win.

Odds to win 2017 NASCAR championship

Odds to Win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup 2017 Championship, according to Bovada. 

Martin Truex, Jr., +300
Kyle Busch, +350
Jimmie Johnson, +700
Kyle Larson, +700
Kevin Harvick, +700
Brad Keselowski, +900
Denny Hamlin, +1400
Chase Elliott, +1800
Matt Kenseth, +2500
Joey Logano, +3300
Clint Bowyer, +4000
Ryan Blaney, +4000
Kurt Busch, +5000
Erik Jones, +5000
Jamie McMurray, +7500
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., +7500
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., +10000
Austin Dillon, +10000
Ryan Newman, +10000
Daniel Suarez, +15000
Kasey Kahne, +20000

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