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NASCAR Cup: standings after Bristol Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway after winning the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Sept. 19, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway after winning the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Sept. 19, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

With his win of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway back on Aug. 19, Kyle Busch joined the ranks of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series multi-race winners, as it was his second win of the season. He’s one of 14 winners, 13 drivers with wins that count toward the playoffs (Joey Logano’s “encumbered” Richmond Raceway win subtracted).

Counting Sunday evening’s Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, two races remain in the Cup Series regular season, and three playoff spots are up for grabs. With one more position than races unclaimed, all race winners, so far, other than Logano, are guaranteed playoff spots.

Being in the top-16 in points now, or after the regular-season finale at Richmond (Va.) Raceway for that matter, isn’t enough to guarantee playoff spots, either, because three race winners — Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillon — are outside the top-16, points-wise, but because of their wins, they’ll slide into three of the 16 playoff spots.

Clint Bowyer, 10th in points; Logano, 14th in points and Erik Jones, 16th points are the drivers in the top-16 but in danger of not making the playoffs. They’re on the outside looking in, heading into the Southern 500. Jamie McMurray, the ninth-place driver in points, is the driver on the bubble. McMurray has a sizable lead on Bowyer with a cushion of 58 points, so chances are, Bowyer’s, Logano’s or Jones’ only shot at making the playoffs is winning at least one of the next two races.

Of those in playoff “safe” spots, Martin Truex Jr. is the far-and-away leader with his series-leading four wins and series-leading 15 stage wins. As a matter-of-fact, Truex is expected to clinch to regular-season-ending bonus of 15 playoff points as the regular-season winner at Darlington, one race early.

As far as playoff points go, Busch is second to Truex, with a total of 20 playoff points after earning six at Bristol — five for the race win and another for a stage win.

Here’s a look at the standings after the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and heading into the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway:
1. Martin Truex Jr. — 4 wins, 35 playoff points
2. Kyle Larson — 3 wins, 18 playoff points
3. Jimmie Johnson — 3 wins — 16 playoff points
4. Kyle Busch — 2 wins, 20 playoff points
5. Brad Keselowski — 2 wins, 14 playoff points
6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — 2 wins, 10 playoff points
7. Kevin Harvick — 1 win, 8 playoff points
8. Denny Hamlin — 1 win, 7 playoff points
9. Ryan Blaney — 1 win, 8 playoff points
10. Kurt Busch — 1 win, 5 playoff points
11. Ryan Newman — 1 win, 5 playoff points
12. Kasey Kahne — 1 win, 5 playoff points
13. Austin Dillon 1 win, 5 playoff points
14. Chase Elliott — 711 points, 2 playoff points
15. Matt Kenseth — 703 points, 3 playoff points
16. Jamie McMurray — 700 points, 0 playoff points
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17. Clint Bowyer — 642 points, 1 playoff point
18. Joey Logano — 583 points, 1 playoff point (1 encumbered win)
19. Erik Jones — 574 points, 0 playoff points

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on August 29, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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