Erik Jones was already sitting within the playoff grid going into the Daytona weekend, but a victory Saturday now assures him of a postseason berth.
Just the seventh different winner this season, Jones joins teammate Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Austin Dillon breathing easier over the next eight weeks. As for the rest of the playoff contenders, Brad Keselowski continues to be the highest non-winner on the grid.
But the advantage for all drivers above the cutoff line did see a small decrease after Saturday night’s wreck-filled race. Bowman remains the bubble driver, now by just 19 points to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Here’s the current playoff grid:
Kyle Busch: 5 race wins, 30 playoff points
Kevin Harvick: 5 race wins, 27 playoff points
Martin Truex Jr.: 3 race wins, 18 playoff points
Clint Bowyer: 2 race wins, 10 playoff points
Joey Logano: 1 race win, 7 playoff points,
Erik Jones: 1 race win, 5 playoff points
Austin Dillon: 1 race win, 5 playoff points
Brad Keselowski: +189 on cutoff, 4 playoff points
Kurt Busch: +159 on cutoff, 2 playoff points
Kyle Larson: +137 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Denny Hamlin: +131 on cutoff, 2 playoff points
Aric Almirola: +96 on cutoff, 1 playoff point
Ryan Blaney: +89 on cutoff, 4 playoff points
Jimmie Johnson: +54 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Chase Elliott: +37 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Alex Bowman: +19 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
By winning the first two stages of the Daytona race, Stenhouse now has two playoff points to use should he make the postseason. Paul Menard is 55 points below the cutoff, and Ryan Newman jumped up into the picture but is 94 markers behind. Daniel Suarez fell to 108 points back.