NASCAR standings 2019: Updated points for Cup series playoffs after Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

It was almost a Cinderella story at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday as Matt DiBenedetto was less than 10 laps away from the first win in his Cup Series career, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Denny Hamlin stayed hot and came back from an early bump with Jimmie Johnson to earn his fourth win of the season and his fifth straight finish inside the top three.

DiBenedetto got terrible news this week as it was announced he would not be returning to Leavine Family Racing and he was so close to getting just a taste of redemption at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, but he came up just a little shot.

But his second-place finish was his fourth top-10 finish in his last eight races and could be a sign of good things to come even if he has to do it in another ride.

Also those drivers on the playoff bubble let go a collective sigh of relief because had DiBenedetto won, guys like Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez would see another playoff spot evaporate.

As it is though they can breathe easier as they still have a chance to make it into the playoffs even without a win.

Here are your updated point standings.

NASCAR points standings 2019

Below are the updated standings following the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Winners are in bold and are guaranteed a playoff spot.

Kevin Harvick

RankDriverWinsPoints
No. 1Kyle Busch

4

932

No. 2

Joey Logano

2893

No. 3

Denny Hamlin 4855
No. 4Martin Truex Jr.4838
No. 5Kevin Harvick4830
No. 6Brad Keselowski3794
No. 7Chase Elliott2757
No. 8Kurt Busch1741
No. 9Ryan Blaney0686
No. 10Alex Bowman1681
No. 11Kyle Larson0665
No. 12William Byron0664
No. 13Aric Almirola0654
No. 14Erik Jones0646
No. 15Ryan Newman0603
No. 16Daniel Suarez0591
No. 17Clint Bowyer0589
No. 18Jimmie Johnson0565
No. 19Paul Menard0520
No. 20Chris Buescher0506
No. 21Ricky Stenhouse Jr.0479
No. 22Matt DiBenedetto0438
No. 23Austin Dillon0427
No. 24Ty Dillon0400
No. 25Daniel Hemric0369
No. 26Ryan Preece0318
No. 27Bubba Wallace0304
No. 28Michael McDowell0303
No. 29Corey Lajoie0279
No. 30David Ragan0257
No. 31Matt Tifft0253
No. 32Quin Houff071
No. 33Reed Sorenson068
No. 34J.J. Yeley038
No. 35Jamie McMurray019
No. 36Austin Theriault010
No. 37Andy Seuss09
No. 38Stanton Barrett02
No. 39Casey Mears01

Who’s on the Cup Series playoff bubble?

Clint Bowyer had a great finish Saturday earning his 10th top 10 of the year, but it was what happened in the earlier stages that cost him.

Coming into the night race Daniel Suarez sat behind Bowyer in the standings and finished behind Bowyer in the night race, albeit by just one spot.

But by virtue of a second-place finish in the second stage, Suarez jumped Bowyer in the standings and now sits in the 16th spot in the standings, two points up on Bowyer.

Every spot counts and there are just two races left for Bowyer to get back into the playoff hunt.

How are NASCAR driver points awarded per race?

Each finishing spot in the field earns driver points with the maximum being 40 for a win. These points accrue over the season as do owner points.

Drivers can also earn points based off of their finishes in the first two stages of the race. The driver who finishes first earns 10 points, the man who finishes in second earns nine and so on and so forth, points earned in those stages are then added to the points earned at the finish of a race.

The points are added up over all of the races and there is a reset after the regular-season finale in the 26th race. Drivers who have earned wins or finish in the top 16 of the Cup Series standings then move on to the playoffs.

Drivers accumulate playoff points earning five bonus points for a win and one for a stage win. Those points are added to a driver’s total at the start of the playoffs.

For a more in-depth look at how scoring works, click here.

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