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2022 NASCAR Playoffs Bracket: Explaining how the playoffs work, which drivers are in attendance, standings, schedule

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If the 2022 season is anything, it represents the maturing of the “winning is everything” nature of the modern NASCAR Cup Series. Since the introduction of the current playoff format in 2014, a culture shift has developed from an emphasis on consistency throughout the season to an emphasis on doing absolutely everything. a team can to win races.

This season, that change came to full fruition, as a total of 16 different drivers visited Victory Lane during the regular season. Five drivers earned their first career wins and as a result some of the sport’s biggest names faced extreme pressure to get into the winner’s circle in the final month of the regular season.

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Now, 15 of those winners — excluding Kurt Busch, who withdrew his playoff eligibility after being injured in a crash at Pocono — are set to challenge for the NASCAR Cup Series championship as part of the 2022 playoffs.

With four regular season wins, Chase Elliott has double the number of wins of any other Cup Series driver en route to the regular season championship. He is in a prime position to contest his second Cup championship, but there is an extremely balanced group of drivers behind him, from former Cup champions to some of the sport’s rising stars – all of whom are looking to add the Bill France Cup to their fireplace mantels.

NASCAR Cup Series playoff format

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs feature a playoff-style format with four rounds in all. Drivers are ranked by their number of race wins as well as the number of “elimination points” – points earned by winning a race, winning a stage mid-race or through their points position at the end of the race. regular season — they’ve been building up throughout the season.

A pilot can advance in two ways:

  • If they win a race, they automatically advance to the next round of the playoffs.
  • Alternatively, they can also qualify for the next round on points as long as they are above the cut-off line at the end of each respective three-race round.
  • The four drivers below the cut-off line at the end of each heat are eliminated from the playoffs and eliminated from the championship. After each round, each remaining driver’s point totals are reset, with playoff points continuing to determine seeding.

The four rounds of the playoffs are Round of 16, Round of 16, Round of 16 and Championship 4. Championship 4 has special rules, as the remaining four drivers will have their point totals reset to an equal number for the last race of the season at Phoenix Raceway. This effectively turns the final race of the year into a pure match race, as the Championship 4 driver who achieves the best finish in the season finale wins the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings

  1. #9 – Chase Elliott — 2040 pts — 4 wins, 15 pts in playoffs
  2. #22 – Joey Logano — 2025 pts (-15) — 2 wins, 25 pts in playoffs
  3. #1 – Ross Chastain — 2020 pts (-20) — 2 wins, 20 pts in playoffs
  4. #5 – Kyle Larson — 2019 pts (-21) — 2 wins, 19 pts in playoffs
  5. #24 – William Byron — 2014 pts (-26) — 2 wins, 14 pts in playoffs
  6. #11 – Denny Hamlin — 2013 pts (-27) — 2 wins, 13 pts in playoffs
  7. #12 – Ryan Blaney — 2013 pts (-27) — 0 wins, 13 pts in playoffs
  8. #8 – Tyler Reddick — 2012 pts (-28) — 2 wins, 12 pts in playoffs
  9. #4 – Kevin Harvick — 2012 pts (-28) — 2 wins, 12 pts in playoffs
  10. #20 – Christopher Bell — 2011 pts (-29) — 1 win, 11 pts in playoffs
  11. #18 – Kyle Busch — 2010 pts (-30) — 1 win, 10 pts in playoffs
  12. #14 – Chase Briscoe — 2009 pts (-31) — 1 win, 9 pts in playoffs
  13. #99 – Daniel Suarez — 2007 pts (-33) — 1 win, 7 pts in playoffs
  14. #2 – Austin Cindric (R) — 2006 pts (-34) — 1 win, 6 pts in playoffs
  15. #48 – Alex Bowman — 2006 pts (-34) — 1 win, 6 pts in playoffs
  16. #3 – Austin Dillon — 2005 pts (-35) — 1 win, 5 pts in playoffs

NASCAR Cup Series playoff schedule

Round of 16

  • Sunday, September 4 – Southern 500 – Darlington Raceway
  • Sunday, September 11 – Kansas Speedway
  • Saturday September 17 – Bristol Motor Speedway (night)

Round of 16

  • Sunday, September 25 – Texas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday October 2 – Talladega Superspeedway
  • Sunday October 9 – Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval

Round of 8

  • Sunday, October 16 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, October 23 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • Sunday, October 30 – Martinsville Speedway

Championship race

  • Sunday, November 6 – Phoenix Raceway

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