The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs field was whittled from 16 drivers to 12 on Sunday following the playoff race at Dover International Speedway, with Kyle Busch winning.
Dover was the site of the third and final race in the Round of 16, with the four drivers lowest in the standings eliminated from the postseason and the ability to compete for a championship in Miami.
The following drivers advanced to the Round of 12, with seeding and points after Dover:
1. Martin Truex Jr.: 3,059 points
2. Kyle Busch: 3,041 points
3. Kyle Larson: 3,034 points
4. Brad Keselowski: 3,020 points
5. Jimmie Johnson: 3,017 points
6. Kevin Harvick: 3,015 points
7. Denny Hamlin: 3,013 points
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 3,010 points
9. Ryan Blaney: 3,008 points
10. Chase Elliott: 3,006 points
11. Matt Kenseth: 3,005 points
12. Jamie McMurray: 3,003 points
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Green-flag pit stops were halted in Stage 1 when Jeffrey Earnhardt wrecked into the sand barrels on the entrance to pit road, bringing out the red flag. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was a big beneficiary. He stayed out as late in the run as possible and finished fourth in Stage 1, for seven crucial points — he had been running further back in the field, hence the gamble. Austin Dillon, meanwhile, was trapped a lap down.
Those seven stage points were the difference was Stenhouse Jr. ended the race two points up on Ryan Newman for the final transfer spot.
BUBBLE BOYS: The playoff picture was tight entering Dover. Jamie McMurray came into the day in 11th place in the standings, nine points above the cutoff line. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon were tied for the final spot, Ryan Newman was one point behind them, and Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne trailed by double digits.
PLAYOFF BONANZA: Martin Truex Jr. will be the top seed for the Round of 12 by virtue of his playoff points. He has 59. All point totals will be reset to 3,000 for the Round of 12, with each driver’s playoff points total added to that.