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Potential 2025 NASCAR Playoff SPOILERS

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

With only a few races left before the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, many driver’s attentions turn from accruing enough points to make the Playoffs to winning a race. There are a few races coming up in the regular season that could produce a Wild Card winner, spoiling the Playoff party for plenty of drivers, and these drivers are the most likely to play spoiler.

  • In order to be a “Playoff spoiler”, a driver needs to be well out of the Playoff hunt. Drivers currently in the Playoffs as of this writing (July 5, 2024), will not be eligible for this list.
  • This year has seen some big upsets. Most notably, Daniel Suarez won at Atlanta and Austin Cindric took home the checkered flag at Gateway. Joey Logano also scored a win at Nashville after being out of the Playoffs for a good chunk of 2024.
  • Fans are always anticipating Playoff spoilers. Every year, someone jumps up and gets that clutch win to get into the Playoffs, and there are plenty of drivers out there who can still do that.

Michael McDowell

Anytime the Cup Series rocks up to a “Wild card” track like a road course or superspeedway, Michael McDowell is near the top of the list of potential upsets. It makes sense, as it has one win on a superspeedway and one on a road course at the Cup Series level. He also has three poles, meaning he has a lot of pure speed, and that, combined with a road course plus a superspeedway on the remaining schedule, makes him a threat.

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Bubba Wallace

It’s strange to see Bubba Wallace on the “Spoilers” list, but he is currently nearly a full race out of the Playoffs. Sure, he can point his way in, but a win does help. He has the equipment to do it, and he has some good tracks coming up, like Daytona and Pocono.

Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon has two career superspeedway wins, and he produced NASCAR’s equivalent of a walk-off home run by winning the final race of the regular season in 2022 to make the Playoffs. He could easily do that again, but it has been a trying year. Sitting outside the top 30 in points, Dillon does need a miracle to make the Playoffs.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Never count out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on superspeedways, with Daytona remaining in the regular season. He has three career wins, all on superspeedways, including two at Daytona. Even if this year has not been as strong as last year, Stenhouse Jr. can do it.

Josh Berry

Josh Berry has one big ace up his sleeve: short tracks. He spent most of his adult life racing late models on short tracks, and he has a pair of short track top-10s this season, with a seventh at Iowa and a third at Loudon. With Richmond still on the schedule, Berry is looking at that date to make some hay.

Ryan Preece

Like Berry, Ryan Preece is a shot track ace, and he showed that last year. He won the pole and led 141 laps at Martinsville before a speeding penalty, and he finished in the top five at Richmond in the summer. Look where they’re going on August 11th, Richmond.

Erik Jones

While 2024 has been a disappointment so far for Legacy Motor Club, Erik Jones has his two best tracks, Daytona and Darlington, left on the regular season schedule. These are venues where he has scored each of his three Cup Serres wins, so that’s exactly what he might need.

Chase Briscoe

Chase Briscoe is the top SHR driver in points right now, and that performance alone makes him a threat. He came close to a win at New Hampshire, and he finished in the top five at Darlington, the place where the regular season finale is.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has had an abysmal season in 2024, and he’s primarily on this list because he’s the winningest active driver in the Cup Series. He’s had moments of speed, such as a top-five at Dover and nearly finishing in the top three at Nashville, but there is not much left on the schedule to be excited about. At the end of the day, however, he’s still Kyle Busch.

Corey LaJoie

Corey LaJoie still has one big chance left on the 2024 schedule: Daytona. He finished fourth at the Daytona 500 in February, making him a definite threat. However, that could be the only real shot he has, given how he’s been running.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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