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NASCAR Cup: standings heading into Dover International Speedway

Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag to win the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 24, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag to win the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 24, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads into its first playoff elimination race of the season this weekend with Sunday’s running of the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

As winners of the first two races of the opening round of the 2017 playoffs, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch are guaranteed advancement to round two. Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski also are locked into the second round by virtue of their positions in the points standings. Meanwhile, four drivers at the bottom of the standings will be eliminated at Dover’s checkered flag, unless one of them saves himself by winning the race.

Points are tight among drivers around the cutoff line. As a matter-of-fact, they couldn’t be closer between the last driver provisionally in and the first one out. Twelfth-place driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and 13th-place Austin Dillon are tied with 2044 points. Stenhouse heads into Dover on the provisional bubble by virtue of a tiebreaker; he has two wins to Dillon’s one.

Also, Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Ryan Newman is just out of advancement territory, a single point behind Stenhouse and Dillon in the 14th position. Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne are in the last two spots among playoff drivers.

No drivers are mathematically in a position that their only chances of advancement are winning at Dover, but the drivers provisionally below the cutoff, heading into Dover, will need help from at least a driver or two ahead of them in the standings. Kahne, the lowest driver in the standings, enters Dover 21 points out of advancement territory.

Here’s a look at the standings, heading into the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday:
1. Martin Truex Jr. — 1 round win, 59 playoff points
2. Kyle Busch — 1 round win, 36 playoff points
3. Kyle Larson — 2125 points, 33 points
4. Brad Keselowski — 2106 points, 19 playoff points
5. Denny Hamlin — 2088 points, 13 playoff points
6. Matt Kenseth — 2087 points, 5 playoff points
7. Jimmie Johnson — 2076 points, 17 playoff points
8. Ryan Blaney — 2070 points, 8 playoff points
9. Chase Elliott — 2070 points, 6 playoff points
10. Kevin Harvick — 2069 points, 15 playoff points
11. Jamie McMurray — 2053 points, 3 playoff points
12. Ricky Stehouse Jr. — 2044 points, 10 playoff points
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12. Austin Dillon — 2044 points, 5 playoff points
14. Ryan Newman — 2043 points, 5 playoff points
15. Kurt Busch — 2027 points, 5 playoff points
16. Kasey Kahne — 2023 points, 5 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 September 28, 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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