When the Bristol race concludes, the NASCAR Cup Series playoff grid will be whittled down to 12 drivers. While the likes of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin are sitting pretty at the top, the bottom half of the draw is battling for survival.
At the tail end of the order, everyone from Joey Logano to Clint Bowyer are desperate to stay alive in the competition. Martin Truex Jr, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, the Busch brothers, and Aric Almirola are in danger as well.
However, it is worth noting that these drivers have to focus on themselves, regardless of where everyone else finishes. Sadly, four drivers will be cut from the competition. Once that happens, their points will be reset and they will officially be out of the running.
Clinching scenarios for drivers and what they need to do tonight at Bristol to clinch no matter finish of anyone else:
Logano-7pts (30th) Truex-20pts (17th) ADillon-21pts (16th) Elliott-30pts (7th) Bowman-31pts (6th) KyBusch-40pts, Almirola/KuBusch-51pts, Bowyer-55pts
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 19, 2020
What do the NASCAR Cup Series drivers need to do?
Regarding the qualifying scenarios, Joey Logano needs to bag at least 7 points to make the cut. As far as Martin Truex Jr. is concerned, 20 points are more than enough, while Austin Dillon can be satisfied with 21 precious points.
However, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman will have their work cut out for them if they want to grab 30 and 31 points.
For Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, and Clint Bowyer, they need a miracle. For the younger Busch, he needs to secure 40 points, while Almirola and Kurt Busch need 51 points. Bowyer is the most vulnerable since he needs 55 points.
Finally, William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ryan Blaney will be keen to get out of the relegation zone. Byron is three points away from the cut-off point, with Custer a further five adrift.
DiBenedetto and Blaney are in murkier waters with a 25 and 27-point gap to the safe zone. As a result, all of these drivers will definitely need a lot of help if they want to make it into the Playoffs.