Playoff Points: Indianapolis Edition

(Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Following each regular season points race, Kickin’ the Tires takes a deep look at the current playoff grids for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, evaluating each team’s postseason odds and highlighting those that made steps in the right direction, as well as those who dug themselves into a hole. 

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Event: Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Stage Winner(s): Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth

Who Won Big

  • Brad Keselowski: As far as playoff entrances go, back-to-back victories in crown jewel races ranks pretty high. Keselowski and the No. 2 team accomplished the one thing no Team Penske NASCAR crew had done before Sunday – winning the Brickyard 400. As a result the Michigander enters the postseason with two-straight wins and the fourth position in the standings, with 19 playoff points to carry him through the postseason.
  • Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman: It’s been a long summer for Hendrick Motorsports’ seven-time champ and former fill-in driver. But when the checkered flag flew on Sunday they finally clinched the final two spots in the postseason, giving themselves a chance at a surprise playoff run.
  • Kyle Busch: While he fell short of a third Brickyard 400 win, the younger Busch brother did lock up the regular season championship, earning 15 playoff points in the process.
  • Clint Bowyer: He couldn’t close out what would have been a career-boosting Indianapolis win, but Bowyer did win a stage to secure a playoff point. That lone point could prove trivial in the playoffs.

Who Hurt Their Odds

  • Everyone outside of the current playoff grid: For everyone outside of the playoff grid, their championship quest is over. That includes Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and others. Better luck next year.

 Playoff Standings: 

Rank Driver Round Wins Points Vs. Cutoff
1 (tie) Kyle Busch 0 2050 47
1 (tie) Kevin Harvick 0 2050 47
3 Martin Truex Jr. 0 2035 32
4 Brad Keselowski 0 2019 16
5 Clint Bowyer 0 2015 12
6 (tie) Joey Logano 0 2014 11
6 (tie) Kurt Busch 0 2014 11
8 Chase Elliott 0 2008 5
9 Ryan Blaney 0 2007 4
10 (tie) Erik Jones 0 2005 2
10 (tie) Austin Dillon 0 2005 2
10 (tie) Kyle Larson 0 2005 2
Round of 12 Cutoff
13 Denny Hamlin 0 2003 -2
14 Aric Almirola 0 2001 -4
15 (tie) Jimmie Johnson 0 2000 -5
15 (tie) Alex Bowman 0 2000 -5

Playoff Points

Playoff Points Earned On-Track
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 Kevin Harvick 40
2 Kyle Busch 35
3 Martin Truex Jr. 27
4 Brad Keselowski 14
5 Clint Bowyer 11
6 (tie) Chase Elliott 8
6 (tie) Joey Logano 8
8 Kurt Busch 7
9 (tie) Austin Dillon 5
9 (tie) Erik Jones 5
9 (tie) Ryan Blaney 5
12 (tie) Denny Hamlin 2
12 (tie) Kyle Larson 2
12 (tie) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2
15 (tie) Aric Almirola 1
15 (tie) A.J. Allmendinger 1
15 (tie) Paul Menard 1
15 (tie) Matt Kenseth 1

Climb the fence. Kiss the bricks. The No. 2 team scored their second victory of 2018 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

Total Playoff Points
Rank Driver Playoff Points
1 (tie) Kyle Busch 50
1 (tie) Kevin Harvick 50
3 Martin Truex Jr. 35
4 Brad Keselowski 19
5 Clint Bowyer 15
6 (tie) Kurt Busch 14
6 (tie) Joey Logano 14
8 Chase Elliott 8
9 Ryan Blaney 7
10 (tie) Kyle Larson 5
10 (tie) Austin Dillon 5
10 (tie) Erik Jones 5
13 Denny Hamlin 3
14 Aric Almirola 1

Stage Points

Stage 1 Stage 2
Pos. Driver Points Pos. Driver Points
1 Clint Bowyer 10 (+1 Playoff Point) 1 Matt Kenseth 10 (+1 Playoff Point)
2 Kurt Busch 9 2 Chase Elliott 9
3 Denny Hamlin 8 3 Erik Jones 8
4 Kyle Larson 7 4 Joey Logano 7
5 Kyle Busch 6 5 Kurt Busch 6
6 Brad Keselowski 5 6 Daniel Suarez 5
7 Aric Almirola 4 7 Brad Keselowski 4
8 Paul Menard 3 8 William Byron 3
9 Chase Elliott 2 9 Ryan Newman 2
10 Erik Jones 1 10 Jimmie Johnson 1

Season Totals

Pos. Driver Totals Stage Wins
1 Kyle Busch 278 5
2 Kevin Harvick 262 12
3 Brad Keselowski 231 4
4 Kurt Busch 207 2
5 Kyle Larson 203 3
6 Martin Truex Jr. 196 7
7 Ryan Blaney 192 5
8 Clint Bowyer 181 1
9 Joey Logano 168 3
10 Chase Elliott 158 3
11 Denny Hamlin 129 2
12 Aric Almirola 104 1
13 Jimmie Johnson 102 0
14 Erik Jones 79 0
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 59 2
16 Paul Menard 46 1
17 Alex Bowman 42 0
18 Ryan Newman 41 0
19 William Byron 39 0
20 Michael McDowell 33 0
21 Daniel Suarez 32 0
22 A.J. Allmendinger 30 1
23 Jamie McMurray 23 0
24 Austin Dillon 18 0
25 Kasey Kahne 14 0
26 (tie) Ty Dillon 11 0
26 (tie) Matt Kenseth 11 1
28 David Ragan 8 0
29 Chris Buescher 7 0
30 Trevor Bayne 6 0
31 Darrell Wallace Jr. 5 0

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *