Eight winners in nine races.  As the number of winners climb, more and more folks start to buy into the idea that we’re going to have more than 16 winners in the first 26 races; meaning that a win doesn’t guarantee a spot in the playoffs.

Everyone, take a deep breath.  It’s not going to happen. 

Oh sure, we could very well have our ninth winner in 10 races this week.  And, we have yet to see Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski or Kyle Busch in Victory Lane.  Give them all wins and we’re still short of 16.

And, of this year’s winners, five of the 8 made the playoffs last year.  There’s one open spot; that’s Clint Bowyer’s.  The teams that Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell drive for just missed the playoffs.

Even though there are still five road course races left before the playoffs, I am confident that there will not be more than eight new faces in Victory Lane over the next 17 races.