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Which NASCAR Cup Series Drivers Have a REALISTIC Shot At Winning Their Way Into The Playoffs?

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Joshua Lipowski

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In NASCAR, the easiest way to get into the Playoffs is to win a race. But still, plenty of drivers find themselves on the outside looking in at the Playoffs. Which of these drivers have the most realistic chance at winning their way into the Playoffs with only four races to go?

A.J. Allmendinger

A.J. Allmendinger is one of NASCAR’s best road course racers. Luckily enough for him, there are two road course races left on the schedule before the Playoffs. Coincidentally, those are the two race tracks that Allmendinger won his two Cup Series races at: Indianapolis and Watkins Glen.

Allmendinger is also a driver that seems solely focused on winning races towards the end of the regular season. Would he have skipped qualifying at Richmond if he did not feel he had a legitimate chance to win one of the last two Cup Series road course races on the regular season schedule?

The combination of being good at road courses and Allmendinger seemingly being solely focused on winning makes him a threat towards the end of the season. Watch out for him for these next few races, because he will be up front.

Michael McDowell

This may seem like a strange pick to some, but McDowell has some strong tracks for him coming up. He is known for how good he is on road courses, and there are two road courses left on the regular season schedule. He both started and finished in the top-10 in the last two road course races this season.

As far as superspeedways go, look no further than the 2021 Daytona 500. McDowell also finished in fourth on the last drafting-style race track in Atlanta back in July. Michigan may be a struggle, but McDowell has found ways to succeed on the other three race tracks on the schedule.

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott is varying levels of good at pretty much every race track left on the regular season schedule. He has the best average finish at Michigan of any current Cup Series driver at 8.0. He also has seven career road course wins, including two wins at Watkins Glen, which still remains on the schedule.

Elliott’s last Cup Series win came at a superspeedway at Talladega in 2022. The final race in the Cup Series regular season is at, yes, a superspeedway. Elliott has had top-5 speed at times this season, but he has yet to find winning speed. These remaining race tracks give him a chance to find what has been missing.

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing has struggled immensely this season, but there is one place Almirola has found success at this season. He has done really well at superspeedway or drafting-style race tracks. He has led multiple laps in all four drafting-style races to this point and qualified in the top-5 at all of them.

The speed is there, and Almirola knows how to win on these types of race tracks. He won his first career race at Daytona, and his second career race at Talladega. He also won an Xfinity series race this season at Sonoma, so road courses may not be the liability once thought.

The drivers on this list have the opportunity to pull off a clutch win late in the season. Because of the tracks remaining, these drivers have a good chance. Two road courses and a superspeedway can make for some surprise winners.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts