The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs field was set Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in the regular-season finale.
Thirteen of 16 spots had been clinched in advance of the Coke Zero Sugar 400, meaning three spots were available. William Byron (win), Clint Bowyer (points) and Matt DiBenedetto (points) earned them.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Byron and Jimmie Johnson entered the day separated by four points, with all other drivers below the cutline essentially needing to win to get in. Johnson was caught up in a wreck late, while Byron went on to win his first career NASCAR Cup Series race — two very different outcomes for the eldest and youngest Hendrick drivers.
Below is the unofficial seeding and points entering the Round of 16. This story will be updated when seeding is made official.
NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFFS FIELD
1. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,057 points
2. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,047 points
3. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske: 2,029 points
4. Joey Logano, Team Penske: 2,022 points
5. Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,020 points
6. Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,014 points
7. Ryan Blaney, Team Penske: 2,013 points
8. Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,009 points
9. William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports: 2,007 points
10. Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing: 2,005 points
11. Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,005 points
12. Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing: 2,005 points
13. Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, 2,004 points
14. Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing: 2,003 points
15. Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing: 2,001 points
16. Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing: 2,000 points
CHAMP OUT: Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson will not have a chance at one final title. The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was involved in a multicar wreck with two laps to go. At the time, Johnson was on the right side of the cutline. His 17th-place finish, though, pushed him out of the playoff picture. Johnson is set to retire at the end of the 2020 season.
CHAMP IS HERE: Kevin Harvick won the regular-season championship for the first time in his career by virtue of having the most points during the 26-race regular season. He clinched the title last week at Dover International Speedway. His reward? Besides the prestige and a pretty sweet trophy, that’s worth 15 playoff points that carry over into the postseason. Harvick was dominant throughout the regular season, and nobody came particularly close to challenging his lead atop the standings, finishing with a cushion of 10 points. He’ll enter as the man to beat.
TOP SEED: Harvick was dominant throughout the regular season, and nobody came particularly close to challenging his lead atop the standings, finishing with a cushion of 115 points over Denny Hamlin. He’ll enter as the man to beat.
NEXT UP: The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begin next Sunday, Sept. 6, at Darlington Raceway with the Cook Out Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).