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The field of playoffs of the NASCAR Cup Series 2020 was determined on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in the final of the regular season.
Thirteen out of 16 spots had been won prior to the Coke Zero Sugar 400, which means three spots were available. William Byron (win), Clint Bowyer (points) and Matt DiBenedetto (points) earned them.
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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Byron and Jimmie Johnson entered the day separately by four points. All other drivers below the cutline had to win in order to get on. Johnson was involved in a wreck late while Byron won his first career NASCAR Cup series races – two very different results for the oldest and youngest Hendrick drivers.
Below is the unofficial sowing and points for the round of 16. This story will be updated when the sowing becomes official.
NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFFS FIELD
1. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,057 points
2. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,047 points
3. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske: 2,029 points
4. Joey Logano, Team Penske: 2,022 points
5. Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,020 points
6. Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,014 points
7. Ryan Blaney, Team Penske: 2,013 points
8. Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,009 points
9. William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,007 points
10. Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing: 2,005 points
11. Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,005 points
12. Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,005 points
13. Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing2,004 points
14. Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,003 points
15. Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing: 2,001 points
16. Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing: 2,000 points
CHAMP OUT: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson has no chance of a final title. The Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet No. 48 was involved in a multicar wreck with two laps to go. At the time, Johnson was on the right side of the cutline. However, his 17th place pushed him out of the playoff picture. Johnson will retire at the end of the 2020 season.
CHAMP IS HERE: Kevin Harvick won the regular season championship for the first time in his career as he had the most points in the regular season with 26 races. He took the title at Dover International Speedway last week. His reward? In addition to the prestige and a pretty sweet trophy, that’s worth 15 playoff points that carry over into the postseason. Harvick was dominant throughout the regular season, and no one could particularly challenge his lead in the standings, ending up with a 10-point cushion. He will come in as the man to be beaten.
TOP SEED: Harvick was dominant throughout the regular season, and no one could particularly challenge his lead in the standings, ending with a cushion of 115 points from Denny Hamlin. He will come in as the man to be beaten.
NEXT UP: The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin next Sunday, September 6th at Darlington Raceway with the Cook Out Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN / NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).