NASCAR Championship: Full Driver Standings After HighPoint 400 at Pocono

A look at the current playoff standings after Denny Hamlin's win at Pocono.
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports at Pocono
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports at Pocono

Another race is in the books with no new driver celebrating in victory lane. Denny Hamlin won his second race of the season, in controversial fashion on Sunday at Pocono. Last year Hamlin won the race but was disqualified after inspection, and this year he appeared to shove Kyle Larson into the wall on the penultimate restart in order to grab the win. He used the same move on Ross Chastain last year, and was showered with boos from the crowd when he exited his Toyota today.

The win by Hamlin means that every driver that has won a race this season is guaranteed to make the Playoffs. There are five positions still open with five races remaining in the regular season. William Byron continues to lead the way with his four victories. Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch trail him with their three wins this season. Hamlin and Larson ironically both have two victories this year, but Hamlin has one more Playoff point so he moves into fourth place.

The five open slots are currently occupied by Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace, and Michael McDowell. Harvick (+163) and the RFK team of Keselowski (+122) and Buescher (+111) are solidly in position to point their way in, even if they don't win one of the final five races. Wallace is now 26 points above the cut line and McDowell has a 17 point edge over AJ Allmendinger. Daniel Suarez is 23 points below the cut line and Ty Gibbs is 28 points under.

Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick

Hendrick Motorsports drivers Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott are further behind, and are in a must-win situation if they are to make the Playoffs. Bowman crashed towards the end of the race today and Elliott ended up finishing 10th in his No. 9 Chevrolet. The five remaining regular season races are Richmond, Michigan, Indianapolis (road course), Watkins Glen, and Daytona.

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings
Pos Driver Team Race Wins
1William ByronHendrick Motorsports4
2Martin Truex JrJoe Gibbs Racing3
3Kyle BuschRichard Childress Racing3
4Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs Racing2
5Kyle LarsonHendrick Motorsports2
6Ross ChastainTrackHouse Racing1
7Ryan BlaneyTeam Penske1
8Joey LoganoTeam Penske1
9Tyler Reddick23XI Racing1
10Christopher BellJoe Gibbs Racing1
11Ricky Stenhouse JrJTG Daugherty Racing1
12Kevin HarvickStewart Haas Racing0
13Brad KeselowskiRFK Racing0
14Chris BuescherRFK Racing0
15Bubba Wallace23XI Racing0
16Michael McDowellFront Row Motorsports0

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