Harvick, Hamlin up top in finalized Cup Series playoff grid

Matt Thacker / Motorsport Images

Harvick, Hamlin up top in finalized Cup Series playoff grid


Harvick, Hamlin up top in finalized Cup Series playoff grid


Regular season domination by Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin put them at the top and far out front of the competition.

The NASCAR Cup Series playoff grid became finalized Saturday night in Daytona with the last two spots determined in a dramatic run to the finish. One of those spots went to William Byron, who earned his first career Cup Series win in the process. The other belongs to Matt DiBenedetto, a first-timer in the postseason.

But DiBenedetto isn’t alone in that category: Cole Custer earned a spot through a win at Kentucky Speedway and is also the only rookie in the postseason. As such, Custer is guaranteed Rookie of the Year honors.

Harvick won the regular-season championship and goes into the postseason with a record of 57 bonus points. Hamlin earned an additional 10 bonus points for finishing second in the standings to move his total to 47.

Five drivers go into the playoffs without wins: Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto.

Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske, and Hendrick Motorsports have three cars in the playoffs. Stewart-Haas Racing qualified all four of theirs.

The Round of 16 kicks off Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway.

Here is the reseeded playoff grid:

1. Kevin Harvick: 2,057 points

2. Denny Hamlin: 2,047 points

3. Brad Keselowski: 2,029 points

4. Joey Logano: 2,022 points

5. Chase Elliott: 2,020 points

6. Martin Truex Jr.: 2,014 points

7. Ryan Blaney: 2,013 points

8. Alex Bowman: 2,009 points

9. William Byron: 2,007 points

10. Austin Dillon: 2,005 points

11. Cole Custer: 2,005 points

12. Aric Almirola: 2,005 points

13. Clint Bowyer: 2,004 points

14. Kyle Busch: 2,003 points

15. Kurt Busch: 2,001 points

16. Matt DiBenedetto: 2,000 points