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July 16, 2024

Playoff Grid 101: Projected standings, notes for all three NASCAR national series

Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain race at Pocono.

The regular season is winding down for all three NASCAR national series and the Playoffs picture is coming into focus. So, what does the Playoff Grid look like? We’re here to answer.

First, a note. The Playoffs standings you’ll see on our Standings page denote the race into the postseason. Only 16 drivers make it (12 for Xfinity, 10 for Craftsman Truck Series), and those standings show who has clinched via a win and then the points positions for the rest.

This Playoff Grid projection shows what the exact standings would look like if the postseason started today.

Here’s what we do:

All playoff drivers have their points reset to 2,000 for the opening round.
Each race win counts as 5 playoff points, which are then added to the 2,000. Kyle Larson has three wins, for example, so that gives him 15 playoff points via victories.
Each stage win counts as 1 playoff point. Justin Allgaier has 11 stage wins, for example, so that gives him 11 playoff points via stage wins.
This projection takes into account where the drivers are ranked in the regular-season standings. There are bonus points for finishing in the top 10. The regular-season champion earns 15 bonus playoff points. Second-place receives 10 bonus playoff points, and then third-place receives 8 bonus playoff points (etc., down to 1 point for 10th place). We use that here, too.

Here’s what the exact Playoff Grid looks like for all three national series heading into Indianapolis.

NASCAR Cup Series

Ryan Blaney celebrates after winning at Pocono.

Notable: Ryan Blaney obtained win No. 2 of the 2024 season at Pocono Raceway. The defending Cup Series champion’s victory at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track brought his total of playoff points up to 12. Everything seems to be clicking lately for Blaney’s No. 12 team as the summer stretch heats up as the 2023 champ looks to improve his playoff position with five races remaining until the postseason.

DriverPlayoff pointsRegular-season bonusTotal points
Kyle Larson23102,033
Denny Hamlin2072,027
Christopher Bell2432,027
William Byron1662,022
Chase Elliott6152,021
Ryan Blaney1242,016
Tyler Reddick882,016
Martin Truex Jr.352,008
Brad Keselowski522,007
Austin Cindric7--2,007
Alex Bowman512,006
Joey Logano6--2,006
Daniel Suárez5--2,005
Chris Buescher2--2,002
Ty Gibbs2--2,002
Ross Chastain1--2,001

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Cole Custer celebrates in Victory Lane at Pocono.

Notable: Cole Custer returned to Victory Lane at Pocono for the first time since winning the 2023 Xfinity Series title. Before Pocono, Custer had done everything but win a race in 2024. With the Stewart-Haas Racing driver having a win under his belt, Custer can now focus on the Regular Season Championship by continuing a strong year of consistency.

DriverPlayoff pointsRegular-season bonusTotal points
Justin Allgaier16102,026
Chandler Smith1582,023
Cole Custer8152,023
Austin Hill1372,020
Shane van Gisbergen17--2,017
6Jesse Love952,014
Sam Mayer1112,012
AJ Allmendinger062,006
Riley Herbst142,005
Sheldon Creed032,003
Parker Kligerman122,003
Sammy Smith0--2,000

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Corey Heim does a burnout after winning at Pocono.

Notable: The back-and-forth battle for the regular season title continued at Pocono between Corey Heim and Christian Eckes. After Eckes led every lap in the previous race to win at Nashville, Heim responded with a trip to Victory Lane at the “Tricky Triangle.” Heim’s up to 31 playoff points compared to Eckes’ 20, with two races to go until the Truck Series Playoffs.

DriverPlayoff pointsRegular-season bonusTotal points
Corey Heim31102,041
Christian Eckes20152,035
Nick Sanchez1182,019
Ty Majeski572,012
Rajah Caruth562,011
Tyler Ankrum252,007
Grant Enfinger042,004
Taylor Gray032,003
Ben Rhodes022,002
Daniel Dye012,001