Chase Elliott held off Martin Truex Jr. in a thrilling finish at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, but as most fans watched the riveting race to the checkered flag, interesting playoff implications were unfolding further back in the field.
Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney tangled, sending Johnson's Chevrolet spinning into a barrier and ruining his day.
Here's what happened to the 7-time Champ to bring out the yellow. pic.twitter.com/4Fx3MGEjGE— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 4, 2019
Johnson's 19th-place finish cost him an opportunity to make up even more ground on Ryan Newman, who had a flat tire and then a loose wheel. He finished 25th. Still, Johnson gained 12 points on Newman and the two drivers are now tied for 16th, the last playoff-eligible position.
There are currently nine drivers officially qualified for the playoffs: Joey Logano (two wins), Kyle Busch (four wins), Truex (four wins), Brad Keselowski (three wins), Denny Hamlin (three wins), Elliott (two wins) and Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman, all with one win apiece.
NASCAR points standings 2019
Below are the updated standings following the GoBowling at The Glen. Winners are in bold and are guaranteed a playoff spot.
|No. 1||Kyle Busch||4||851|
|No. 2||Joey Logano||2||838|
|No. 3||Kevin Harvick||1||777|
|No. 4||Denny Hamlin||3||771|
|No. 5||Martin Truex Jr.||4||753|
|No. 6||Brad Keselowski||3||728|
|No. 7||Kurt Busch||1||679|
|No. 8||Chase Elliott||2||676|
|No. 9||Aric Almirola||0||640|
|No. 10||Ryan Blaney||0||633|
|No. 11||Alex Bowman||1||623|
|No. 12||William Byron||0||604|
|No. 13||Erik Jones||0||598|
|No. 14||Kyle Larson||0||590|
|No. 15||Clint Bowyer||0||556|
|No. 16||Ryan Newman||0||544|
|No. 16||Jimmie Johnson||0||544|
|No. 18||Daniel Suarez||0||521|
|No. 19||Paul Menard||0||483|
|No. 20||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||0||466|
|No. 21||Chris Buescher||0||463|
|No. 22||Austin Dillon||0||410|
|No. 23||Matt DiBenedetto||0||380|
|No. 24||Ty Dillon||0||357|
|No. 25||Daniel Hemric||0||341|
|No. 26||Michael McDowell||0||287|
|No. 27||Bubba Wallace||0||271|
|No. 28||Ryan Preece||0||269|
|No. 29||Corey Lajoie||0||250|
|No. 30||David Ragan||0||235|
|No. 31||Matt Tifft||0||231|
|No. 32||Reed Sorenson||0||67|
|No. 33||Quin Houff||0||58|
|No. 34||J.J. Yeley||0||29|
|No. 35||Jamie McMurray||0||19|
|No. 36||Andy Seuss||0||9|
|No. 37||Austin Theriault||0||5|
Who’s on the Cup Series playoff bubble?
As noted earlier, Johnson and Newman are tied for 16th, the final playoff spot.
Two winless drivers, Erik Jones, who finished fourth, and Ryan Blaney (fifth), both padded their distance between the cutoff position. As a matter of fact, every other top-16 driver currently without a win (Aric Almirola, William Byron, Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer) padded their cushion on the bubble, given the poor finishes by Johnson and Newman.
Daniel Suarez ranks 18th in the standings, only 23 points behind Johnson and Newman. Paul Menard is 63 points back in 19th place, probably too far behind at this point barring a miracle … or a race victory.
There are four races remaining before the playoffs begin at Las Vegas Sept. 15. Michigan is next Sunday, followed by Bristol, Darlington and Indianapolis. That's four radically different tracks to challenge drivers.
How are NASCAR driver points awarded per race?
Each finishing spot in the field earns driver points with the maximum being 40 for a win. These points accrue over the season as do owner points.
Drivers can also earn points based off of their finishes in the first two stages of the race. The driver who finishes first earns 10 points, the man who finishes in second earns nine and so on and so forth, points earned in those stages are then added to the points earned at the finish of a race.
The points are added up over all of the races and there is a reset after the regular-season finale in the 26th race. Drivers who have earned wins or finish in the top 16 of the Cup Series standings then move on to the playoffs.
Drivers accumulate playoff points earning five bonus points for a win and one for a stage win. Those points are added to a driver's total at the start of the playoffs.
For a more in-depth look at how scoring works, click here.
Published 05 Aug 2019, 07:30 IST