Sunday’s race at Indianapolis was a day for the little guy.
Michael McDowell picked up his second career Cup Series win in dominant fashion, prancing down the turn-infested surface with relative ease. With that, he is guaranteed a playoff berth with just two regular-season races remaining in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series.
Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez, two other drivers who entered Sunday outside the metropole, finished in second and third place, respectively. Alex Bowman and Chase Briscoe, another two non-playoff invitees, weren’t too far behind, either.
With points at a premium — be it by stage position or finishes — Sunday’s orchestra of noise should set the stage for a hectic final two weeks. Elliott, Bowman and Bubba Wallace represent some of the biggest names in the sport. And yet, all three find themselves in dire straits as the season nears its crescendo.
MORE: NASCAR at Indianapolis results, highlights
The race for the postseason is heating up. Here’s how things stand post-Indianapolis.
NASCAR playoffs standings 2023
Below is a current look at the top 16 drivers in the Cup Series playoff standings, based on regular season points. This section will be updated as the Cup Series campaign nears its conclusion.
|Rank||Driver||Points||Points over cut line|
|1||Martin Truex Jr.*||830||+0|
|16||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.*||542||+0|
* clinched playoff spot with a win
NASCAR schedule 2023: Playoff races
(All times Eastern)
|Sept. 3||Southern 500||Darlington Raceway||6 p.m.||USA||MRN|
|Sept. 10||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway||3 p.m.||USA||MRN|
|Sept. 16||Bass Pro Shops Night Race||Bristol Motor Speedway||7:30 p.m.||USA||PRN|
|Sept. 24||AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400||Texas Motor Speedway||3:30 p.m.||USA||PRN|
|Oct. 1||YellaWood 500||Talladega Superspeedway||2 p.m.||NBC||MRN|
|Oct. 8||Bank of America Roval 400||Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval||2 p.m.||NBC||PRN|
|Oct. 15||South Point 400||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||2:30 p.m.||NBC||PRN|
|Oct. 22||NASCAR Cup Series Race at Homestead-Miami||Homestead-Miami Speedway||2:30 p.m.||NBC||MRN|
|Oct. 30||Xfinity 500||Martinsville Speedway||2 p.m.||NBC||MRN|
|Nov. 6||NASCAR Cup Series Championship||Phoenix Raceway||3 p.m.||NBC||MRN|