Kevin Harvick is no longer best of the rest when it comes to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff grid. He’s now locked in.
Harvick finally broke through for his first win of the season Sunday afternoon in New Hampshire. He makes it nine drivers locked into the postseason as the playoffs draw ever closer.
With Harvick in on wins, Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola is now leading the way for drivers on points. William Byron, meanwhile, continues to add to his advantage over the cutline with strong performances and stage results.
But behind them, there is bubble trouble: New Hampshire third-place finisher Erik Jones jumped further up the grid and now has breathing room, but his move came at the expense of Clint Bowyer, now last on the grid after a rough day where he finished 20th.
Ryan Newman picked up another top-10 finish and is also now on the playoff gird as Jimmie Johnson fell out after finishing 30th. Johnson has made the playoffs every year since they started, so fighting for the postseason is new to the No. 48 team.
Here is the playoff grid as it stands with six races to go, with a reminder that it will be reseeded at the end of the regular season when additional points are awarded to the top 10. Currently Joey Logano is the overall championship point leader.
Kyle Busch: 4 race wins, 27 playoff points
Martin Truex Jr.: 4 race wins, 22 playoff points
Brad Keselowski: 3 race wins, 19 playoff points
Joey Logano: 2 race wins, 17 playoff points
Denny Hamlin: 2 race wins, 13 playoff points
Kevin Harvick: 1 race win, 9 playoff points
Kurt Busch: 1 race win, 6 playoff points
Chase Elliott: 1 race win, 7 playoff points
Alex Bowman: 1 race win, 5 playoff points
Aric Almirola: +98 on cutoff, 1 playoff points
Ryan Blaney: +84 on cutoff, 2 playoff points
William Byron: +61 on cutoff, 1 playoff point
Kyle Larson: +31 on cutoff, 3 playoff points
Erik Jones: +28 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Ryan Newman: +21 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Clint Bowyer: +17 on cutoff, 0 playoff points
Below the cutoff line are Jimmie Johnson (-17), Daniel Suarez (-17), Paul Menard (-60), and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-77).