The field is set.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begin next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, and we know which 16 drivers will compete for the championship, along with the brand-new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup.
Three spots were up for grabs at Richmond Raceway on Saturday in the regular-season finale, with 13 drivers having locked in their spots already via wins.
Those outside the playoff picture entering Richmond were in a win-or-bust mode, and the upset victory didn’t materialize with Kyle Larson winning his fourth race of the year.
Below is the 16-driver field, with the seeding and points.
1. Martin Truex Jr.: 2,053 points
2. Kyle Larson: 2,033 points
3. Kyle Busch: 2,029 points
4. Brad Keselowski: 2,019 points
5. Jimmie Johnson: 2,017 points
6. Kevin Harvick: 2,015 points
7. Denny Hamlin: 2,013 points
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 2,010 points
9. Ryan Blaney: 2,008 points
10. Chase Elliott: 2,006 points
11. Ryan Newman: 2,005 points
12. Kurt Busch: 2,005 points
13. Kasey Kahne: 2,005 points
14. Austin Dillon: 2,005 points
15. Matt Kenseth: 2,005 points
16. Jamie McMurray: 2,003 points
Top seed: Martin Truex Jr. In the first season under this race format, Truex Jr. enters the playoffs as the top seed. He leads all drivers with four wins — worth five playoffs points apiece — and he’s won a series-best 18 stages (worth one playoff point each) through Richmond. Additionally, Truex is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2017 Regular Season Champion. Winning the regular-season title adds an additional 15 playoff points.
No win, but in: Three drivers advanced to the postseason without winning a race this year, and they had to sweat it out Saturday night to do so: Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. Remember, a win is the only surefire way to qualify for the playoffs.