The stage is set for Daytona, where more than a dozen drivers will be battling for the final Playoff spot. In a race that is always oozing with chaos and unpredictability, the fate of everyone is in the balance. William Byron's dominant victory today locked veterans Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski into the Playoffs. Keselowski has both RFK Racing cars in the postseason and Harvick will have a shot at another title before he retires at the end of the season.

Those 15 drivers being locked in leaves the door open for one final spot. Bubba Wallace currently occupies that slot, thanks to two good weekends on road courses, which are not his strength. His strength has always been superspeedways, which bodes well for him heading into next weekend. The 23XI Racing driver has a 32-point lead over rookie Ty Gibbs for the 16th spot, with Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, AJ Allmendinger, and a host of others.

The only hope for the drivers below the Playoff cut line is to win. That is easier said than done, especially when it comes to a place like Daytona. Anything can happen, as was proven last year when Austin Dillon lucked into a win after nearly the entire field crashed when it began to rain. Chief among those on the outside looking in is the 2020 Cup champion and NASCAR's most popular driver. Elliott was running inside the top-ten today at Watkins Glen, a place he has won twice, when he ran out of fuel with 36 laps remaining.

With five wins, Byron is guaranteed to have the No. 1 seed when the Playoffs begin in two weeks. Martin Truex Jr holds steady in second as he and Kyle Busch both have three victories. Truex can clinch the regular season title next weekend at Daytona, as he has a 60-point advantage over teammate Denny Hamlin.

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings
Pos Driver Team Race Wins
1William ByronHendrick Motorsports5
2Martin Truex JrJoe Gibbs Racing3
3Kyle BuschRichard Childress Racing3
4Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs Racing2
5Kyle LarsonHendrick Motorsports2
6Chris BuescherRFK Racing2
7Christopher BellJoe Gibbs Racing1
8Ross ChastainTrackHouse Racing1
9Ryan BlaneyTeam Penske1
10Tyler Reddick23XI Racing1
11Joey LoganoTeam Penske1
12Ricky Stenhouse JrJTG Daugherty Racing1
13Michael McDowellFront Row Motorsports1
14Kevin HarvickStewart Haas Racing0
15Brad KeselowskiRFK Racing0
16Bubba Wallace23XI Racing0