Latest NASCAR Playoffs News

Despite Considering a Penalty for Kyle Larson, NASCAR Claims ‘It Just Didn’t Feel Right’

1 week ago
NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400

“How Do You Say That?”- Controversial Insider Fires Shots at Ryan Blaney With Harsh Reality Check

1 week ago
NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying

NASCAR Legend Trashes Joey Logano’s Controversial Take on Kyle Larson’s Playoff Dilemma to Expose Unfair Decisions

1 week ago
Kyle Larson and Joey Logano

Kyle Larson Dismisses Coca-Cola 600 Desires for Indy 500 Dream with Honest 5-Word Confession

2 weeks ago
NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 – Media Day

“Makes Me Want to Gouge My Eyes Out”- NASCAR’s Refusal to Do Right by Disheartened Fans Riles Up Veteran Insider

3 weeks ago
NASCAR: Shriners Children’s 500

“Would a Champion Feel Better?”: Dale Jr Questions NASCAR’s Championship Weekend Decision with a Revolutionary Suggestion

May 16, 2024
NASCAR Test – Daytona

Exclusive: Michael Jordan Gets a Message From “Ted Lasso” of NASCAR

April 18, 2024
Michael Jordan and Patrick Dees

Bristol Motor Speedway: Weather, Odds, TV Schedule, Qualifying, Prize Money for the NASCAR 2024 Food City 500

March 15, 2024
NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying

Surrounded by Controversy and Crashes, Joey Logano Could End His 37-Race Winless Streak in Phoenix

March 05, 2024
NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona

Conceited Bubba Wallace Unleashes Veiled Dig at Kyle Busch’s Blatant Antics at Atlanta’s Wreckfest

March 01, 2024
Kyle Busch and Bubba Wallace

More NASCAR Playoffs news

Dale Jr Draws Parallels With Winless Brad Keselowski As He Namedrops 2024 Daytona 500 Favorite

It is quite surprising to think that someone like Brad Keselowski has never won the Daytona 500 but 2024 may be his year as per Dale Jr.

Nilavro Ghosh

February 14, 2024

Brad Keselowski-Dale Earnhardt Jr

Denny Hamlin Expects Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez & Ty Gibbs to Make It to Playoffs in 2024

The 2023 playoffs were unfortunate for some drivers, but Denny Hamlin believes the same folks will win through the playoffs this year.

Sumedha Mukherjee

February 12, 2024

Can Brad Keselowski Fend Off His RFK Racing Pupil for the Daytona 500 Title?

Brad Keselowski has not won a single Daytona race, but he was the kingmaker last year for Chris Buescher. But can he win one this year?

Neha Dwivedi

February 11, 2024

Ford EcoBoost 400 – Practice

Joey Logano Reveals the Most Annoying and Gut-Wrenching Part of Working With Netflix

Joey Logano is quite vocal when calling out Netflix for its nosy filming process and he did not have a good time acting in NASCAR Full Speed.

Sumedha Mukherjee

February 09, 2024

NASCAR: Cup Qualifying

Can Carson Hocevar Outclass Rookie Contenders Zane Smith & Josh Berry at the Daytona 500?

Could Carson Hocevar's last year's performance lead him to snatch the Rookie of the Year title from seasoned Josh Berry and Zane Smith?

Neha Dwivedi

February 09, 2024

Zane Smith, Josh Berry, Carson Hocevar

Talladega Superspeedway’s Latest Rebranding Blatantly Rejected by NASCAR Fandom – “Just Ruined What Was Perfection”

Talladega Superspeedway's makeover with simple yet striking colors hasn't managed to win over the NASCAR fandom.

Neha Dwivedi

February 08, 2024

LINCOLN, AL – APRIL 23: Kyle Busch (8) does a burnout in the McLaren Custom Grills Chevrolet after winning the GEICO 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr Makes Massive Playoff Prediction for Ty Gibbs Amidst Performance Breakout

Following Ty Gibbs' sensational Coliseum run, Dale Earnhardt Jr drops a positive playoff verdict about the youngster.

Kishore R

February 07, 2024

AUTO: OCT 16 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff South Point 400

Legacy MC Reveals Jimmie Johnson’s Full 2024 Cup Series Itinerary as Fans Cheer NASCAR’s Superman’s Return

Jimmie Johnson will do a spin around Indianapolis at the Brickyard 400, and a curtain call at Phoenix Raceway to tie off the season

Neha Dwivedi

February 07, 2024

NASCAR, Motorsport, USA Cup Qualifying Mar 25, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (84) lo

Ryan Blaney Gives Insights Into NASCAR’s “President’s Book” as He Hopes Channel His Inner Nicholas Cage

Ryan Blaney talks about the secret journal kept by the Cup series champions that cannot be read by anyone else except champions.

Neha Dwivedi

February 02, 2024

NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500

“I Don’t See Him Anywhere” – Ryan Blaney’s Father Remains Grounded on His Son’s Racing Success

Ryan Blaney teased the "NASCAR: Full Speed" docuseries on his Instagram story, featuring his dad discussing his future.

Neha Dwivedi

February 01, 2024

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 – Practice

NASCAR Owner Michael Jordan’s 9-Word Approval Confirms His Unwavering Faith in Bubba Wallace

Bubba Wallace received appreciation from the NBA legend Michael Jordan and the moment was stunningly captured by Netflix's new series.

Neha Dwivedi

January 31, 2024

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 25: Michael Jordan, co-owner of 23xi racing and NBA, Basketball Herren, USA legend with wife Yvett

On This Day in 2014 NASCAR Introduced the Current Playoff Format

Exactly a decade ago, the new elimination format of the current playoff was introduced. How popular was it back then?

Mamata Mukherjee

January 31, 2024

NASCAR: NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Dale Earnhardt Jr Leads the Rally as Fans Fall In Love With NASCAR: Full Speed, Demand Season Two Pronto

Within a day of the NASCAR: Full Speed documentary release, fans can't seem to wait for more as they double down with their demands.

Chintan Devgania

January 31, 2024

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM – October 17, 2018

Ailing From Head & Neck Cancer, NASCAR Insider’s Best Friend Sets $50,000 GoFundMe Goal for Her Recovery

NASCAR insider requests donation in the support of fellow reporter who recently appeared on the top of the Indian "Ved."

Neha Dwivedi

January 31, 2024

Holly Cain

Jeff Gordon Unmasks Kyle Larson’s G.O.A.T. Status Desires Amidst Second Championship Dreams

Kyle Larson intends to make it to the list of the GOATs as confirmed by Jeff Gordon and shown in the clip of NASCAR's new docu-series.

Neha Dwivedi

January 30, 2024

NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway

NASCAR: Full Speed Episode 3 Review – Thrills and Chills of the Playoffs Round of 12 with “One Last Push”

Need to know the review of the NASCAR: Full Speed Episode 3 review before going full-fledged into it? Here's what we think about it.

Neha Dwivedi

January 30, 2024

All You Need to Know About NASCAR: Full Speed on Netflix- Release Date, Trailer, Drivers Cast & More

The excitement for Netflix's upcoming docu-series, NASCAR: Full Speed, has gripped the NASCAR community. Let us dive deeper into it.

Ansuman Abhisek

January 29, 2024


NASCAR Officials Come Clean on Daytona Grass Patch Asphalt Repave With Surprising Revelation

Ryan Preece's Daytona accident during the finale of the regular season raised a lot of questions about grass; NASCAR is fixing it now.

Neha Dwivedi

January 29, 2024

Daytona International Speedway plays host to the NASCAR, Motorsport, USA Cup Series for the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach

IMS President’s Heartwarming Response to a Fan Repping Indianapolis’ Wing & Wheel Plates Has Racing Fans in Awe

NASCAR race track- Indianapolis Motor Speedway's president's heartfelt gesture melts the heart of the enthusiasts.

Neha Dwivedi

January 27, 2024

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard

Denny Hamlin Overjoyed Over Latest Netflix Docuseries Hyping His On-Track “Spidey Senses”

Joe Gibbs Racing No.11 Denny Hamlin's anticipation on the track has now been documented and will be portrayed in the anticipated docuseries.

Chintan Devgania

January 26, 2024

NASCAR: Cup Series Playoff Media Day

Netflix’s “NASCAR: Full Speed”: What to Expect From the Docuseries?

The NASCAR Full Speed documentary will not only feature intense playoff action but also wholesome moments from driver's personal lives.

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

January 26, 2024

NASCAR: Bank of America ROVAL 400

‘Nascar: Full Speed’- Which NASCAR Drivers Will Not Feature in the Netflix Docuseries?

With NASCAR's Netflix 'Full-Speed' release just around the corner, here are some prominent drivers who did not feature in the series.

Chintan Devgania

January 26, 2024

NORTH WILKESBORO, NC – MAY 21: Josh Berry ( 48 Hendrick Motorsports Ally Chevrolet) leads Ty Gibbs ( 54 Joe Gibbs Racing

“I Don’t Want to Document My Life” – Ross Chastain Unmasks Netflix’s Rebellious & Unfiltered ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ Approach

Trackhouse Racing star Ross Chastain was unbothered by Netflix's cameras on him and has applauded the streaming giant's work with NASCAR.

Ansuman Abhisek

January 26, 2024

TALLADEGA, AL – APRIL 22: Ross Chastain ( 1 TrackHouse Racing Moose Fraternity Chevrolet) looks on during qualifying for

Chase Elliott Reveals the True Reason Behind Letting Josh Berry Snag His Championship-Winning Spotter

Chase Elliott opens up on letting Eddie D'Hondt join Stewart-Haas Racing to help out new full-time driver Josh Berry.

Priyank Mithani

January 20, 2024

NASCAR: Busch Light Clash

“We Were Dangerous” – Ryan Blaney Publicly Rubbishes Speculation Surrounding Team Penske’s Sudden Playoff Breakthrough

Ryan Blaney opens up about all the assumptions made about him and his team on just being good during the end of the playoffs.

Neha Dwivedi

January 17, 2024

TALLADEGA, AL – APRIL 23: Ryan Blaney ( 12 Team Penske Wurth Ford) looks on before the running of the NASCAR, Motorsport

JGR Insider Spills the Beans on What to Expect From Netflix’s NASCAR: Full Speed Series

Joe Gibbs Racing insider reveals a peek into NASCAR's latest docuseries with Netflix on the team's Instagram handle.

Ansuman Abhisek

January 15, 2024

NASCAR: Cook Out Southern 500

NASCAR Playoff Schedule

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season finished off in emphatic fashion after a thrilling race at Daytona. Now, the much-awaited playoffs begin for this year's campaign with 16 drivers challenging for the title. While the competition only gets intense, it only gets tricky with the venues involved for the remaining 10 races.

Kickstarting with the Round of 16, the first race takes place on 3rd September with the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. It is then followed by the race at Hollywood Casino 4000 at Kansas Speedway on 10th September. After that, the round of 16 ends with the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on 16th September.

Once that's done, then begins the round of 12. It starts with the Autotrader Echopark Automotive 400 race at Texas Motor Speedway on 24th September. Following that, the Cup Series moves to the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on 1st October. Finally, the round ends with the Bank of America Roval 400 race on 8th October at Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

USA Today via Reuters

After the six races begin the Round of 8, first with the South Point 400 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 15th October. The second race of the round will be carried out on 22nd October at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Once that's done, the penultimate race of the 2023 season will be the Xfinity 500 race at Martinsville Speedway on 29th October.

Eventually, the final race of the campaign will be at Phoenix Raceway, bringing curtains to this year's action on 5th November. While these 10 races will be conducted on different tracks, the format of the playoffs makes it an exciting affair.

Round of 16Round of 12Round of 8Championship race
Sun., Sept. 3 - Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway (Winner: Kyle Larson)Sun., Sept. 24 - Texas Motor Speedway (Winner: William Byron)Sun., Oct. 15 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Winner: Kyle Larson)Sun., Nov. 5 - Phoenix Raceway
Sun., Sept. 10 - Kansas Speedway (Winner: Tyler Reddick)Sun., Oct. 1 - Talladega Superspeedway? (Winner: Ryan Blaney)Sun., Oct. 22 - Homestead-Miami Speedway (Winner: Christopher Bell)
Sat., Sept. 16 - Bristol Motor Speedway (Winner: Denny Hamlin)Sun., Oct. 8 - Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Winner: AJ Allmendinger)Sun., Oct. 29 - Martinsville Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series playoff format

The current playoff format isn't as difficult as it looks to understand. The Cup Series playoff uses an elimination-style format possessing four rounds in total. It starts with the Round of 16 where all the 16 drivers in the playoff compete in three races.

However, at the end of those three races, the four drivers below the cut-off line get eliminated. Then begins the Round of 12 which also contains competing in three races. Again, the four drivers below the cut-off line get eliminated, leaving 8 of them.

With the same logic and rules applied in the Round of 8, it all comes down to the last four remaining drivers. It goes down to the wire at Phoenix Raceway with the Championship 4 race where the best four drivers in the competition battle for the title in Arizona. Interestingly, the points system involved makes the competition more wild with time.

NASCAR Cup Series points system

The regular season gave a glimpse of how the desperation of winning points could prompt drivers to their limits. Despite his best efforts, Chase Elliott failed to make it to the playoffs this season, the first time ever he did that in his career. While points weren't enough to help his cause, the same could not be said for the final 16 drivers in the playoffs.

Without a doubt, every driver would be fighting to finish as high as possible in every race. The 10 races would see 36 to 40 drivers competing depending on the event or the track. The race winner would get 40 points, the second-place finisher would get 35 points, the third-place finisher would get 34 points, and so on. Notably, drivers who finish between the 36th and 40th position would get a single point.

Another mode of earning points would be through stage wins. 10 points would be awarded for winning each stage. Since the race is divided into three stages, 10 points each will be awarded for Stage 1 and Stage 2 wins. Not only that, while these 10 points are for the winner, the second place gets nine, the third place gets eight, and so on until the 10th place gets a single point.

For example, if a driver wins one of the first two stages and fails to finish the race, he would still end the race with 10 points. At the same time, if a driver wins both the first two stages and the race, he could go on to win 60 points in total. What this does is give every racer an incentive to strongly compete in every phase of the playoff race.

It is worth mentioning that drivers who have accumulated playoff points in the regular season will be carried forward in the playoffs. This would give them a small advantage and a slight leeway in case things go wrong in a race. Having said that, surviving in the playoffs is as difficult as qualifying for it.

What makes a driver qualify for the NASCAR playoffs?

It is no secret that qualifying for the NASCAR playoffs is no less than an achievement. Despite his best efforts, it took Bubba Wallace six years to get into the playoff for the first time. In fact, the introduction of Next-Gen cars has only made it more tricky.

Mathematically, a win in the regular season doesn't assure a place in the playoffs. However, more often than not a victory has almost secured a place in the playoffs. Since the current playoff format was introduced in 2014, the Cup Series hasn't witnessed more than 16 different winners in a regular season.

So practically, a win does help in making it to the playoffs. In the event there is more than one driver without a win competing for the spot, the drivers with the most overall points make the cut. In fact, it is with this logic that Wallace and two other drivers made it to the playoffs in 2023.

Who are the NASCAR drivers in the playoffs?

During the course of 26 races in the regular season, there have been some remarkable performances, to say the least. While a few of them were unexpected, it has certainly brought a different flavor to NASCAR's top-tier racing. Both William Byron and Martin Truex Jr have raced incredibly well to cement their place at the top.

While the Joe Gibbs Racing driver won the regular season championship, Byron would hope to go all the way in the playoffs. Another Hendrick Motorsports star who has done well this season is Kyle Larson. While he won two races in the regular season, he could have easily won more had it not been for some unfortunate events.

It must not have been easy for Rick Hendrick given how they only have two drivers in the playoffs this campaign. However, that's not the case with Joe Gibbs as along with Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell have also made it to the final 16. While Hamlin's contract situation at JGR remains uncertain, it is a massive opportunity for him to win his first-ever championship.

Speaking of JGR and contracts, Richard Childress Racing driver Kyle Busch also made it to the playoffs with three wins this season. One of the biggest surprises of the final 16 would be Chris Buescher. His late surge in the regular season saw him register three wins in the last five weeks.

The playoffs will also see Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who all made it through a single win in the first 26 races of the season. However, the ones to make it without a win are Bubba Wallace, the retiring Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski. It is certainly interesting to see if there's a new winner this time around.

What playoff drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series championship before?

Winning the NASCAR Cup Series hasn't been an easy task. Despite his terrific experience and skills, Denny Hamlin has struggled to win it once in 19 years. Having said that, he has had drivers alongside him who have won it before. In fact, even the current bunch of drivers in the playoff know what it is like to be a title winner.

Out of the 16 drivers, 6 of them have already won it previously. This year's regular season champion, Martin Truex Jr has already won the Cup Series back in 2017. With his incredible form this campaign, he is undoubtedly one of the front-runners to repeat the feat.

Along with Truex Jr lies Kyle Busch who has also known the amazing feeling of being a Cup Series champion. Having won it twice, the RCR driver would be inching to win it with his new team. Other former championship winners include Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick. While all of these drivers have the potential to double their tally, it would take a wild effort for them to go all the way this season.

NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings

Clearly, winning the championship will be the agenda for all the final 16 drivers involved. While it is easier said than done, there is no discounting anyone involved. Currently, William Byron and Martin Truex Jr lead the charts with 36 playoff points to their name each.

They are followed by Denny Hamlin and Chris Buescher who have 25 and 21 playoff points respectively. All the next four names are some of the brightest names in the sport. Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain take up the next four spots with 19, 17, 14, and 11 playoff points respectively.

While the list only gets more spicy, the outcome only gets more unpredictable race after race. Brad Keselowski and Tyler Reddick have 10 and nine playoff points to their name so far. With eight points to their name, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney occupy the two spots just above the cutoff line going into the Round of 16.

The final four before the race at Darlington sees Michael McDowell in the 13th place with seven playoff points. Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Kevin Harvick have five and four points to their name respectively. Last but not least, Bubba Wallace has failed to win a playoff point in the regular season. It is interesting to see how he does in his playoff debut, especially how he deals with the non-playoff drivers.

Latest Standings:

#24 William Byron


#20 Christopher Bell


#12 Ryan Blaney4106
#5 Kyle Larson4105
#45 Tyler Reddick4096
#11 Denny Hamlin4089
#19 Martin Truex Jr4089
#17 Chris Buescher4063
#6 Brad Keselowski2263
#1 Ross Chastain2219
#23 Bubba Wallace2216
#8 Kyle Busch2210
#22 Joey Logano2198
#4 Kevin Harvick2170
#34 Michael McDowell2145
#47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr2136

Do non-playoff drivers also compete in Playoffs?

Unlike other sports, NASCAR interprets elimination differently. Despite not making it to the final 16, the non-playoff drivers remain part of the balance 10 races in the 2023 season. Most notably, they would hope to win and help their team gather more points.

With not much at stake, many opt to try out different tactics and setups during these races. The best a non-playoff driver can finish at the end of the season would be with a 17th-placed finish. Other than that, some of the drivers also tend to use this opportunity to help their playoff-qualified drivers in their bid to win the title.

Having said that, it is worth noting that NASCAR tends to take strict actions on any mala fide act or intent on track indicating in this direction. Some even do it with revenge in their mind due to past duels earlier in the campaign. So, there's plenty for even the non-playoff drivers to make the final 16 an entertaining affair.