To the surprise of no one who has followed NASCAR in 2020, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick thrived at Dover this weekend.
Hamlin won Saturday's 311-lap race, while Harvick claimed the back end of the Delaware doubleheader Sunday.
Harvick (1,041) and Hamlin (907) continue to lead the points standings. They will be the favorites once the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin.
Jimmie Johnson, meanwhile, is breathing down the necks of Matt DiBenedetto and William Byron for the final postseason position.
There is just one more race in the 2020 NASCAR regular season — at Daytona next weekend — which means the dual competitions at Dover were key deciders in who will get to fight for a Cup Series title.
Below is a breakdown of how the NASCAR Cup Series looks after the Drydene 311 doubleheader:
Who has won a NASCAR race in 2020?
All race winners are assured a playoff spot this season regardless of how many more points they accrue. The following 10 drivers have claimed at least one victory in 2020 and are safe:
- Kevin Harvick (7 wins)
- Denny Hamlin (6)
- Brad Keselowski (3)
- Chase Elliott (3)
- Joey Logano (2)
- Cole Custer (1)
- Austin Dillon (1)
- Alex Bowman (1)
- Martin Truex Jr. (1)
- Ryan Blaney (1)
NASCAR playoff bubble
Because 10 drivers have already won a race, there are just six spots still open to make the postseason based on points alone. Daytona next weekend represents the final chance for someone to qualify by winning a race.
Here's a look at the playoff bubble and an outline of who is currently safe from elimination:
NASCAR points standings after Dover
Here's how the Cup Series points standings shake out following the two Dover races, won by Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, respectively.
(* Denotes automatic playoff qualification)
|4||Martin Truex Jr.*||845|
|23||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||426|
|26||John Hunter Nemechek||373|
Below is NASCAR's explanation for how it awards points:
"Each finishing spot in the field earns a driver points, from a maximum of 40 points to the driver who finishes first, down to one point for the driver who finishes 40th. ...
"Drivers can earn race points through their performances in Stage 1 and Stage 2. Drivers who are running first through 10th at the conclusion of Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 will receive points, starting with 10 points for first place, nine points for second place, down to one point for 10th place. Points earned in those two stages are then added to what drivers earn after the final stage, which sets the full race results. ...
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"Additionally, a driver can earn bonus playoff points for the following:
- Five playoff points to the race-winning driver
- One playoff bonus point to the driver who wins Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 in every event
"Those points are added on to a driver's total once the postseason starts. The accumulated playoff points will carry over at the start of the Round of 16, Round of 12 and Round of 8."