|09/09/22||Different is Good|
|09/02/22||Just the Point|
|08/26/22||Variety: the Spice of NASCAR|
|08/11/22||Fair is Fair|
|08/04/22||The End Justifies the Means|
|07/14/22||The Intimidation Game|
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.