BROOKLYN, MI – There are just four races left for drivers to lock in their position in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series playoffs. Each of the next four races will make or break the season for some drivers.
All though the battle for the points lead is intense as Kyle Busch and Joey Logano take turns leading the series, the battle near the cutoff for the playoffs is even more intense and one lap, one pass, one stage win could mean the difference between being in or out of the playoffs.
There are three drivers, within 12 points, of the cutoff line and all three of those drivers have won before at Michigan International Speedway.
Sitting in 15th position in the points, just 12 points ahead, of Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman is Clint Bowyer. Bowyer’s win at Michigan was last season in June. That win, in a rain shortened race, is the only top-ten in the last eight races at the track. Bowyer looks to make up some lost ground this weekend, coming off of a poor finish at Watkins Glen last weekend.
Jimmie Johnson is sitting 16th in points, tied with Ryan Newman, and is looking for some momentum and a win for his new crew chief. Johnson has five top five’s and 13 top ten’s at Michigan. His only win came nearly five years ago. Look for Johnson and his team know that gaining every point this week is important, but they would love to lock down their spot with their first win in over two years.
Ryan Newman sits in 17th position in points, tied with Jimmie Johnson. Newman has brought a fresh energy to his Roush-Fenway Racing team, despite his worst finish of the season last week on the road course in New York. Points are important to the No. 6 team this week also and based on the earlier race at Michigan they may have the upper hand. Newman finished eighth at the spring race and has back-to-back wins at the track, but that was over a decade ago.
The playoff view make be a little clearer after this weekend in Michigan, or it could be even a little murkier. One thing for sure, win and you are in.