|11/01/23||The Numbers Don’t Lie|
|10/11/23||Win or Be Consistent|
|10/05/23||Cutting it Shorter|
|09/21/23||Happy in the Black Hat|
|09/14/23||Wishes Come True|
A Near Miss
We all knew Daytona could be a wildcard, but I don't think anyone was prepared for how close it came to turning the Playoff race upside down.
When the checkered flag flew, only two of the top-11 drivers already had
But the lack of winners in the top-25 is not really the headline here; it's who the winless drivers were and how low they currently are in the point standings. Of the 17 winless drivers in the top-20, only three of them would currently qualify for the Playoffs.
Doing some quick math, that means that 14 of the top-20 at Daytona, would they have won, would have knocked someone in the top-11 in points below the 16-driver Playoff cutoff.
We already have Austin Dillon in…and he's 21st in points. Paul Menard, Michael McDowell, Chris Buescher, A.J. Allmendinger and David Ragan all posted top-10 finishes and are currently 24th-28th in points.
Can you imagine a couple of drivers in the top-10 in points missing the playoffs? It could still happen, but the odds just got a lot longer.