The playoff battle for the final few wildcard spots is heating up. In fact, I can make a strong case that the drivers battling for the final couple of spots in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings are driving as good as anyone right now.
Erik Jones has six top 10 finishes in his last nine starts on the year. Ryan Newman has four top 10 finishes in the last five races on the season. Two points separate the duo for the 16th and final spot into the playoffs.
Daniel Suarez is three points out and coming to New Hampshire with a top 10 finish in Kentucky. Suarez, also started on the pole last weekend too.
Jimmie Johnson is in a tie for 14th and has two top five finishes in his last three starts. Clint Bowyer ended his slump with a sixth place run last Saturday night too.
Combined, 14 points separate Johnson and Bowyer in 14th to Suarez in 18th. That’s why stage points are going to be so critical this weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. All four drivers are running so well, you can’t afford to give any points up.
Plus, lets look at how each have done in New Hampshire.
Johnson, has zero top five finishes there since 2014. Bowyer, has two seventh place runs in his last three starts on the Magic Mile but was only 35th last year. Jones, has two finishes outside of the top 15 in three tries. Newman and Suarez may be the best.
Suarez, has two top 10 finishes in his three tries. Newman, was sixth last year and has three top 10’s in his last six New Hampshire starts.
As you can see, Sunday is going to be wild.